The institution of the staff representative is an essential part of the development of collective labour relations. Staff representatives are also auxiliaries of the inspector of labour and social insurance, and collaborator of bodies whose duties is to handle general problems relating to the running of the enterprise.

It is not new to say that the mission assigned to the staff representative upsets the employer; as a result, he must be protected. This protection is of absolute necessity. This protection touches on two aspects;

  • The function of the staff representative, and
  • The person of the staff representative against dismissal.


The protection of the office of the staff representative can be illustrated under the following aspects;

  • Representation Hours: The law guarantees representatives the right required by the performance of their duties. Thus the employer must give them the time needed for their representative activities and pay them within the time limit of 15 monthly credit hours as stipulated in section 24 of the Cameroon labour code. Such time shall be considered and paid for as working time and it shall be used only for the performance of duties that pertain to the office of staff representative.
  • Administrative Function: According to Article 22 of Order No. 19/MTPS/SG/CJ of May 1993, the staff representative may put up to the exclusion of any other document in whatever order notices containing the information that it is his duty to provide for the staff in a bid to accomplish mission as defined by the regulations in force.
  • Grant of Audience: Article 23 of Order No. 19/MTPS/SG/CJ of May 1993 obliges the head of the establishment to meet with all permanent representatives and alternate representatives at least once a month. They must also be received at other requests in case of extra ordinary circumstances either individually or collectively either by category or by workshop, work place, service or occupational specializations depending on the issue at stake. Extraordinary circumstances is understood to mean either an urgent request to set up a safety structure after an accident at work for example or the need to re-establish understanding between the employer and employee.
  • Response to Demand: If the head of the establishment cannot make a statement within 3 days following the demands and suggestions made by the representative, he must convey them to his administrative subordinate like the manager or director who must respond to them within 15days of their transmission. This is still in accordance with article 23 of May 1993 Order.
  • Compulsory Register for Demands: The head of the establishment must provide at the head quarter of the establishment a special open register which may be consulted by the workers every working day aimed at registering demands and suggestions made by representatives and the responses of the head of the establishment.
  • Hinderance: According to section 168 (4) of the Cameroon Labour Code of 1992, any person who hampers the regular exercise of the function of staff representative shall be guilty of hinderance. This offence of hinderance comprises of acts of impeding or attempting to impede the free designation and the normal exercise of the function of the representative. This aspect of hinderance brings about two types of sanctions; civil or criminal sanctions.
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