A female employee has the duty to reconcile her job with family duties. In the course of fulfilment of her family duties, she can get pregnant, as such, the Cameroon labour code of 1992 has provided that the contract of employment will be suspended during her confinement instead of being determined for breach like an ordinary common law contract. The reason for the protection on pregnant women is as follows;
- To enable pregnant women who are workers to dedicate themselves to their family or household,
- To prevent the pregnant women from losing their jobs through dismissal as a result of absence due to the pregnancy,
- To protect the health of the pregnant woman for a certain period.
The duration of maternity leave is 14 weeks at the time of her confinement. Per section 84(1) of the Cameroon labour code, every pregnant woman shall have the right to a maternity leave which shall start 4 weeks before the presumed date. The 14 weeks period may be extended to another 6 weeks in case of a duly certified illness resulting either from pregnancy or confinement.
NATURE OF WORKER’S PROTECTION
- Firstly, the worker will be paid her full salary by the National Social Insurance Fund once she proceed on maternity leave.
- The legislator has recognized that the pregnant woman has the right to determine her contract of employment without notice and without being liable to pay compensation in lieu of notice provided by the labour code. Provided this action is dictated by situation of pregnancy.
- An employer can’t dismiss the worker during her maternity leave except for reason quite apart from the pregnancy or an imperative reduction of personnel for redundancy.