Every contract of employment must be consensual and freely concluded whether the duration is specified or unspecified. Every labour relationship between a worker and an employer is a product of express and implied terms being agreed in an employment contract in Cameroon. However, an employment contract has its own specificities which makes it different from a regular contract in Cameroon.

In accordance with the section 23(2) of the labour code of Cameroon 1992, a contract of employment shall be negotiated freely. There are however some exceptions to this provision as stipulated in section 27 of the labour code of Cameroon. The existence of a contract of employment may be recorded in whatever manner the contracting parties find convenient. This means that an employment contract may be oral or writing in nature.


The general principle that there shall be no restriction on the making of the contract of employment is not absolute. The exceptions are as follows;

  • Every contract of employment of specified duration exceeding 3 months or requiring that the worker leaves away from his usual place of residence shall be in writing. Failure of such contract being in writing, the contract shall be null and void.
  • Also, as regards young persons, no young person under the age of 18 years may be employed on board a ship as a trimmer or stocker or underground in line with section 86(2)(a) of the code. If any young person is employed on board a ship in any other capacity, their employment is subject to strict medical examination to ascertain fitness for work.
  • No child shall be employed in an enterprise even as an apprentice before the age of 14 years except otherwise authorized by order of the minister of labour, taking into account local conditions and the jobs which the children may be asked to do.
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