Where the court has determined that the dismissal is wrongful, it has to pronounce a number of relief orders as per the circumstance of the particular case.
At common law or the doctrine of equity, the remedy of damages is the most important relief granted for the protection of job security of the employee. This is because in an ordinary contract of employment, specific performance or declaration of invalidity of dismissal will not be allowed and the employee will not also be allowed to claim wages in respect of the period that follows after the dismissal.
The Cameroon labour code also treat damages as the main remedy for wrongful termination of a contract of employment. According to section 39 (1) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992, damages are the remedy available for wrongful dismissal.
THE QUANTUM OF DAMAGES
According to section 39(1)(a) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992, it is stipulated that ‘ with due regard to all factors indicating that the prejudice has been caused and all factors determining the extent of such prejudice’,
Section 39(1)(b) stipulates that ‘where the employer is responsible, the nature of the employment, the worker’s length of service with the employment, his age and any accrued rights’, these guidelines will be used by the court to assess the quantum of damages to be awarded the worker.
IMMEDIATE LOSS OF WAGES
This compensation arises where the worker has been dismissed without notice nor payment in lieu of thereof. The amount of damages recoverable is the amount the employee would have earned if the contract had been performed. Hence this loss is financial loss and excludes compensation for non-pecuniary loss such as injured feelings, inconveniences caused etc.
FUTURE LOSS OF WAGES
The worker cannot be awarded wages he would have earned up to his pensionable age as there is no knowing as to whether he would have gotten to that age, or would have had a different job. The loss of future wages is usually awarded as a total lump sum by the courts especially where the worker would not have found alternative employment before the hearing.
The courts will award the damages based on the seniority of the worker at the company as illustrated in the case of D.N Embola v C.D.C 1978 case.