Section 30 of the 1974 labour code of Cameroon provided for two types of contracts of employment. They are the contract of employment of unspecified duration and the contract of employment of specified duration.
CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT OF AN UNSPECIFIED DURATION
According to section section 25(1) (b) of the 1992 labour code of Cameroon, a contract of employment of an unspecified duration is one in which the termination period is not fixed in advance and may be terminated at any time by the will of the worker or the employer provided that prior notice is given in line with section 34 of the labour code of Cameroon. The parties agree to be bound to each other for an undetermined period. Such a contract extends more or less into the future and subject to retirement may last the life time of the parties. This contract has the following elements;
- Either party has the discretion to terminate the labour relationship at any time.
- The termination of the contract by either party is subject to the notice period in accordance with section 34 of the labour code of Cameroon 1992.
- As regards the aspect of executing tasks, its distinctive criterion remains job continuity, subordination to one and the same employer, and the continuous membership to one enterprise.
CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT OF SPECIFIED DURATION
According to section 25(1)(a) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992, a contract of specified duration is one which termination is fixed in advance by both parties. The aspect of the termination being fixed in advance is illustrated in the tree conditions below;
- A contract which termination is fixed in advance by the will of the parties. Hence the consent of the parties is the determinant factor.
- A contract which termination is subject to the occurrence/realization of a future or certain event, which realization is the determinant factor.
- A contract concluded for the execution of a specific task or job.
A contract of specified duration may not be concluded for a duration of more than 2 years renewable once.
In accordance with section 25(3) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992, as regards workers of Cameroonian nationality, contracts of specified duration shall be renewed only once with the same company. If at the expiry of the renewal, working relations continue, the contract shall be transformed into one of unspecified duration.
As regards workers of foreign nationality, section 25(2) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992 stipulates that the contract of employment shall be renewed only after endorsement by the minister in charge of labour.
Also, when a contract of employment of specified duration is above three months, it must be in written form per section 27 (1) of the labour code of Cameroon.