Compliant HR, Payroll, Immigration & Tax
Cameroon is a Central African nation on the Gulf of Guinea, bordered by Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Mount Cameroon near the coast is the highest elevation in the country. Cameroon is occupied by an ethnically diverse population which is among the most urban in western Africa. Cameroon’s economy has swung from a long period of prosperity to a decade of recession followed by a partial recovery. The economy depends on the production of various raw commodities and has therefore been vulnerable to price fluctuations for these commodities.
The country remains mostly agricultural, but it has gradually diversified into the production of petroleum and lumber, and the provision of basic industries and services. Cameroon has built one of the most diverse and prosperous economies in sub-Saharan Economic figures during the 1990s as it hosts abundant natural resources, favourable geographic position, and relative political stability indicated that Cameroon had made progress in reducing some of these problems. The government began a second 3-year structural adjustment program that aims to continue privatization of state enterprises and improvement of public management which resulted in years of solid growth for during the late 1990s followed a decade of decline and, in 2000.
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CFA Franc (XAF)
1 January – 31 December
French & English
CFA Franc (XAF)
1 January – 31 December
MONTH: MARCH 2020
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Covid 19 Tax Relief Changes
Cameroon has relied largely on public investment resulting in growth performance which has strengthened in recent years but, which has started to strain fiscal accounts and to increase debt levels. Moreover, economic growth has not translated into equitable poverty reduction, largely due to spatial and social inequities, an unfavourable business environment including infrastructure lags, and weak governance. Poverty levels have stagnated around 40%, and widespread regional disparities exist—with rural areas carrying the bulk of the country’s poor. Cameroon however has strong potential to develop and build on its vast potential, including important natural resources to ensure inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.
Expatriates and Work Permits
Expatriates on special assignments in Cameroon for a period of less than six months, who are rendering services to a company in Cameroon and who are not employed by a Cameroonian company, shall not require a work permit
Income paid to such expatriates for services rendered shall be considered as technical assistance and subject to a WHT of 15%. However, when a Cameroonian company employs expatriates, they would require work permits, which must be endorsed by the Labour Minister before commencement of work. Income paid to such expatriates shall be liable to PIT, payroll taxes and social contributions.
The following six countries citizens can visit Cameroon without a visa for up to 90 days:
- Central African Republic
- Republic of Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
The Cameroonian concept of income taxation is the same as in industrialised countries. There are two main income taxation systems; namely, one for individuals and the other for entities.
There is no special tax regime for expatriates.
Turnover is also subject to taxation. The Turnover Tax (Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée) is borne by the final consumer.
Tax rates in Cameroon
An individual is considered as resident in Cameroon if he/she has his/her principal centre of interests or business, or place of abode, in Cameroon or if he/she is engaged in a salaried or non-salaried professional activity in Cameroon, or stays in Cameroon for more than 183 days in a tax year.
Personal income tax (PIT) applies to total income derived from various categories of revenues.
Income categories such as salaries, wages, pensions and life annuities, income from stocks and shares, income from real estate, profits from handicraft, industrial and commercial activities, profits from agricultural activities and profits from non-commercial and related professions.
A non-resident is taxable only on Cameroon-source income.
- Employment income generally includes salary, allowances, emoluments, wages, benefits in kind and pension income.
- Taxable income from employment is determined by taking into consideration the gross amount of wages, salaries, emoluments, allowances, pensions, as well as benefits in kind.
- Any amount reimbursed by the employer is not subject to PIT if considered to be a professional fee.
- Expenses which are considered as professional are listed by regulation in force e.g. mobility premium, basket premium and representation.
- All cash payments in lieu of benefit in kind, and any expenses incurred by the employer on behalf of the employee, are included in the taxable base, unless expressly exempted by law.
Foreign tax credits are not provided for.
The PIT year-end date is 31 December.
Statute of limitations
Taxpayers should produce, at the request of the tax authorities, all mandatory accounting documents and records backed, where necessary, by the accounting items applicable to the nature of the taxpayers’ activities.
Taxpayers are requested to keep these documents for a period of ten years.
Tax audit process
Taxpayers need to pay taxes put at their charge by the tax regulation in force. Non-compliance with legal requirements relating thereto may give rise to control process exercised by the authorised tax agents.
The PIT return should all be declared/filed by the 15th day of the month following the payment of wages/salaries. Regularisation must be declared by 15 March following the fiscal year-end, when filing the Annual Tax Return.
The tax administration should send a pre-completed return of collected revenue or any other taxable item, with the tax amount owed, to any natural or legal person paying taxes or duties as per laws and regulations in force.
Payment of tax
Taxes which are payable by the employee shall be withheld at source by the employer, who is responsible for payment to the tax authorities.
Payment of PIT to be made by the 15th day of the month following the payment of wages/salaries. Payroll taxes (including PIT) must be declared and paid by 15 March following the fiscal year-end, when filing the Annual Tax Return.
Working Out Income Tax in South Africa Yourself
Anybody who cannot pay their tax in South Africa through the PAYE system is left with the prospect of filing a tax return. This can be an onerous task, if you do not understand the system. Does South Africa have a tax treaty with your home country? You will need to find out or find someone who can provide assurance, whist this takes time and effort.
Using Employ Africa for Income Tax in South Africa
Contractors and Companies in South Africa are faced with masses of paperwork and numerous wasted hours filing returns unless they find an alternative option. Employ Africa can act as your employer during your stay in the country whilst still allowing you the freedom to work. The only difference is that you submit your timesheets to Employ Africa; calculate and pay your taxes as you earn, and then you receive a net wage (as well as compliant documentation for your records). Employ Africa are experts in South Africa taxation, and they’ll ensure that you keep the largest proportion of your earnings whilst complying with local laws. They can deal with any issues with the South African tax office or tax department directly.
We assist in a wide range of sectors Petrochemical, Mining, Power Generation, Water Technology Oil and Gas, software developers, IT Project Managers, testers, business analysts and telecommunications for whom we get tax efficient payments and sponsorship for their South Africa work permit. Our advice is 100 percent free, and it comes with no obligations. You will be paying taxes in South Africa but without the overhead of directly dealing with the South African tax authorities. Get in touch with us today for some reliable advice on tax in South Africa!
EMPLOYMENT LAW IN CAMEROON WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?
According to the Cameroon Labour Code an employee is any person irrespective of sex or nationality who undertakes to place his/her services in return for remuneration.
IS MY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT VALID?
For a contract of employment to be valid like any other contract there must be offer and acceptance, the parties must have the capacity to contract, there must be consideration and finally the work to be done must be legal.
FORM OF CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT
The contract of employment can be formal or informal (written or oral). There is no requirement that the contract must be in writing, but it is always better for contracts of employment to be written. Written contracts reduce the possibilities for any confusion and conflict in the course of its performance and in case of dispute. A contract of employment may be recorded in whatever manner the contracting parties find convenient. Thus, Employment contracts may be written, oral, partly written and partly oral or implied from conduct.
TYPES OF CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT
Contracts for specified duration
This is an employment contract with a definite or specified period for which the contract must run.
The Labour Code defines contracts of specified duration as contracts whose termination are fixed in advance by both parties. A specified contract of employment can only run for 2 years and renewable once. This means a specific contract of employment can only be run for a maximum of 4 years at the end of which another contract has to be re-established.
The Code provides for another form of specified contract of employment which is Contracts of employment of a specified but non-renewable period. These are contracting whose termination is subject to the occurrence of an event in the future, which does not depend exclusively on the will of the parties, which is precisely indicated in the contract. For examples a contract concluded for the execution of a specified task.
Contracts of specified duration are not subject to notice before termination.
Contract of employment of unspecific duration
The Code also provides for contracts for an unspecified duration. This is a contract which the duration is not fixed in advance. Most contracts in Cameroon are for an unspecified duration. Usually such contracts are meant to last till the employee retires. However, such contracts may legitimately be terminated at any time by either of the parties with the termination notice. A contract of unspecified duration can only be terminated with prior notice of the party terminating the contract or for the misconduct of one of the parties. The notice termination must set out the reason for the termination of the contract of employment. The notice period shall start running from the date of such notification. Where the notice is given by the employer the employee must be allowed one day off each week to look for another job. He/she may take this all at once or one hour at a time as he desires. During this time, he is entitled to his full wages. Also, the employer also must respect every obligation towards the employee.
OTHER FORMS OF CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENTS
The Labour Code has tacitly recognized occasional, seasonal and temporary jobs under which temporary employment services recruit certain employees for employers. They are employments which are dictated by unexpected developments in the enterprise/industry. Such employment results from unexpected growth of the company, the need for urgent employees to prevent imminent accidents, work for urgent repairs, and employees engaged to do seasonal work resulting from the seasonal nature of the company’s activities.
Temporary contracts may not be concluded for a period exceeding one day to 15 days and may be renewable more than once. Where seasonal, temporary and occasional Jobs extend beyond their legal term without termination they will become converted to contracts of unspecified duration.
EMPLOYMENT IN CAMEROON FOR CERTAIN GROUPS OF PEOPLE
Contracts for employment of foreign employees must be endorsed by the Minister of Labour. The employment of foreigners is subject to written application. This application must be written by the employer and directed to the Minster of Labour for endorsement. The Minister has 2 months from the date of receipt of the application to either accept or refuse to grant the application for employment. If he fails to announce his decision within this period, he shall be deemed to have endorsed it. Also, the renewal of contracts of foreigners is subject to endorsement by the Minister of Labour.
The Code gives certain privileges to pregnant women who are employed. Under the Code, a pregnant woman can terminate her contract of employment without giving notice to her employer and shall not be terminated from her employment. The Code provides that an employer may not terminate the employment of a woman because she is pregnant.
The Labour Code makes provision to ensure that no child shall be employed in an enterprise even as an apprentice before the age of 14 except as otherwise authorized by an order of the Minister in charge of Labour taking account of local conditions and the Jobs which the children may be asked to do. As such once a child attains the age of 14, he /she may be employed in an enterprise or may even be an apprentice in an enterprise.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT
In Cameroon, an employee and an employer are free to negotiate the terms of employment as they wish. Usually it is important that certain terms be expressly stated in the Contract of employments.
Such terms include and are not limited to:
- Name of the employer and the employee.
- Title and description of the employee’s job.
- The date and duration of the employment.
- The scale and remuneration and the method of calculation of wage.
- The interval between which wages shall be paid.
- Injury, sick, leave and transport pay,
- Pension scheme
However, the Labour Code also specifically allows the head of an enterprise to formulate internal regulations often called work rule. These are rules relating to the technical organization of work, disciplinary standard and procedure, safety and hygiene at work necessary for the proper functioning of the Company. A contract of employment may also be amended while it subsists. This can be done on the initiative of either party to the contract. Such amendments must however be mutually accepted by both the employee and the employer for them to be valid and effective.
Customs which have become notorious employments or industry are often implied into an employee’s employment where the contract is silent on the issue.
According to the Labour Code where an enterprise has an official 5 days working week, the employee is not allowed to work beyond 8 hours a day. Similarly, where an enterprise has six days working week, the employee may only work for 6. 6. hours a day. In total an employee can work for only 48 hrs a week- 2400 hours per year.
There are 2 categories of rest intervals in Cameroon:
The traditional practice is that the employee is entitled to a one-day period of rest for a seven-day working week. Weekly rest is compulsory i.e. 24 consecutive hours rest. The rest period shall as a rule is on Sunday and may not be replaced by a compensatory allowance.
As a rule, every employee after working for certain defined periods is entitled to a holiday for a specified period with full pay.
The employer is obliged to offer an employee paid leave at the rate of one and a half working days for each month of actual service.
The parties could themselves agree on better leave conditions.
Employees are entitled to 21 consecutive days annual leave on full pay in every leave cycle. This adds to 15 working days per annum if the employee works a 5-day week and 18 working days per annum if the employee works a 6-day week.
Since leave is calculated based on yearly services an employee who has put in a year of continuous service is entitled to at least an annual leave of 18 /21 days depending on a 5- or 6-day work.
Employees are entitled to at least 5 days paid sick leave per year. If an employee is injured or becomes ill at work, the employer is responsible for paying for Medical treatment.
Under S. 89 (4) of Labour Code employees are entitled to a maximum of 10 days special leave on family events directly concerning their homes, e.g. death of a family member etc.
The Code provides for a total of 14 weeks for maternity (approximately 31/2 months) leave. This period starts running four weeks before the date of confinement (estimated as one month). The four weeks may be extended to 6weeks where the woman has a duly certified illness resulting from pregnancy. During such maternity leave the employer has no right to terminate the woman’s employment. If the woman puts to birth before the due date of delivery the period of her leave must be extended such that she enjoys the full fourteen weeks she is entitled to leave. However, if she puts to birth after the due date of delivery, if she has already taken her leave for the four weeks leave before the date of confinement (and even extended beyond the four weeks confinement) this does not reduce her postnatal leave she is entitled to. Pregnant women during the maternity leave are entitled to daily allowance that the National Social Insurance Fund must pay to her. This amount shall be equal to the wages of an employee who has been suspended from employment. She is also entitled to benefits from social and family welfare.
Women who are employed are entitled to nursing break of 15 months (estimated at 1 year 3 months) after the birth of the child. The total of the nursing breaks shall not exceed an hour (each) working day.
The Code provides for termination in the case of unspecified contracts of employment. A contract of employment can be terminated at will by either party provided notice of termination which must state the reason for terminating the contract of employment. The Code prescribes notice periods to run from 15 – 30 days or one month depending on the professional status of the staff. The notice period may also be agreed upon by the parties. A termination notice which last for only one day whether agreed by the parties is wrongful notice.
The terms of an employment contract may provide for the payment of a salary in lieu of a termination notice. The appropriate thing is for the employee to be paid on the date the termination takes effect. A mere offer to pay the salary in lieu of notice at a future date is incompetent as payment must be immediate.
A employee who proposes to immediately leave his employment could be required to pay the employer salary in lieu of notice.
An employee may be dismissed without notice in case of serious misconduct subject to the findings of the competent court as regard the gravity of the misconduct. Dismissal may only tie to fault of the employee. Serious misconduct refers to unintentional act of the employee in the course of employment which causes considerable loss to the employer.
DISMISSAL FOR CONDUCT INCOMPATIBLE WITH EMPLOYMENT
An employee whose conduct is incompatible with a faithful discharge of his employment duties can be dismissed under e.g. wilful disobedience to lawful and reasonable orders, theft of employer’s property, gross incompetence etc.
CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT IN EMPLOYMENT:
It does happen sometimes that the misconduct of the employee which is considered incompatible with his employment also constitutes a criminal offence. Where this is the case, it becomes imperative that the employer proves the misconduct of the employee forming the basis of his dismissal beyond reasonable doubt.
CAN A SINGLE MISCONDUCT JUSTIFY DISMISSAL
This depends on the circumstances of each case e.g. a single misconduct which strikes at the root of the employment such as theft could correctly lead to the dismissal of the employee’s employment.
DISOBEDIENCE OF REASONABLE ORDERS
This may include:
- Refusal be transferred may lead to a misconduct which justifies dismissal.
- A situation where employees do just what they please and refuse to obey the reasonable instructions of the employer can only move towards anarchy which is incompatible with the employment contract. On the contrary, it is true that where obeying a will expose the employee to unacceptable levels of risk, the employee is not obliged to respect it.
- Note equally obliged to do acts that are not contemplated as terms in their contractor employment.
- If the parties had agreed that a particular disciplinary measure be taken before dismissal, the same must be respected. The employee’s misconduct (no matter how grave) does not ordinarily change the party’s terms of employment on the disciplinary procedure to be followed.
DISMISSAL FOR ECONOMIC REASONS
An employee may be dismissed for economic reasons where the employer for one or more reasons not inherent in the person of the employee relieves the employee of his service.
The discharge must result from an abolition or transformation of post or an amendment to the contract of employment consequent on economic difficulties, technological changes, or internal reorganization i.e. circumstances beyond the control of either the Employer or the Employee. Dismissal can only be legal under this head if the employer proves to the labour inspector that all measures to safeguard the employment had been deployed to no avail e.g. reduction of working hours, shift work, part time etc. review of allowances and wage cuts etc. in this case dismissal – consideration shall be based on the employee’s seniority at work and family responsibilities. Additionally, an employer cannot terminate a employee who has been justifiably sick for a period of more than 6 months.
RELIEF FOR DISMISSAL
An employee is entitled to damages where his employment is wrongfully terminated. The damage shall be calculated taking several issues into consideration which may include inter alia the qualification of the work, his posts of occupation. The damages shall not be less than 3 months’ salary or more than one-month salary per year of service in the enterprise
COMPENSATION FORWORK RELATED INJURIES
In Cameroon, the National Social Insurance Fund is responsible for work related injuries. Usually employees are registered by their employers with the National Social Insurance Fund. Employers then make monthly payments to the Fund in case of work-related injuries, pension, etc. In the case of any work-related injury, where the employer has failed to make monthly payments to the Fund, the National Social Insurance Fund must pay out the money for work related injuries and then recover them from the employer. As such the Labour Code does not make detail reference to compensation for occupational mishaps or the payment of social insurance benefits to employees. Also, most private insurance companies don’t handle such claims.
COMPENSATION FOR INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT:
- The employee must state that he has sustained an injury or fallen ill in the course of the performance of his work.
- When it occurs during travels funded by the employer. The accident should not have occurred along the route which the employee diverted for reasons unconnected with his job. Industrial Accident has to be violent and sudden.
- The employee must have sustained injury.
- Employer must be affiliated to the National Social Insurance Fund.
- The place where meals are taken: it should be the place habitually used by the employee.
- The protected route – constituted industrial accident. It must occur during the normal time required to cover the legally protected route.
The employee must therefore establish the link between the alleged injury or the disease and the employee’s employment.
PROCEDURE FOR FILING COMPENSATION CLAIMS
1) The victim of an occupational hazard must inform his/her employer as soon as possible.
- The employer on the other hand has a period of not more than 3 days beginning from the date of notification by the employee to notify or declare the accident or illness to the National Social Insurance Fund.
- Failure by the employer to notify, the National Social Insurance Fund, the victim has a period of 3 years following the date of the accident or the date on which the disease is medically established to make the declaration to the National Social Insurance Fund himself.
- The application is on special form provided in 3 copies.
- The application is made to the National Social Insurance Fund centre responsible for the place in which the accident occurred along with the initial medical certificate.
- A claim made after the 3 years limit becomes statute barred. Not even a court can grant extension of time.
- The claimant must have been duly registered with the fund.
Section 17(6) of Decree No 77/11 of 1979 states thus: “In all cases, the National Social Insurance Fund takes charge of all industrial accident and professional illnesses occurring during work on account of an employee not registered and recover damages paid over from the employer”.
- Medical certificate of the victim be made in 4 copies and forwarded to the Insurance Centre, the employer, the employee and the physician respectively.
- An employer who has not complied with this law shall be punished with a fine of from 5.000 FRS.
In case of repeated offence, the offender shall be liable to imprisonment ranging from 1 month to six months or to both such imprisonment and fine and irrespective of other charges to be paid.
- Irrespective of the above sanctions, the National Social Insurance Fund is permitted to pursue the employer to pay allowances that are unpaid.
VICARIOUS LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF EMPLOYEES
Employers are liable – if a 3rd party brings an action against the act of the Employee acting within the scope of his authority: Civil Responsibility
Employee’s Certificate of Service
An employer is obliged to issue a certificate of service to a departing employee. The certificate shall include the employee’s date of employment and date of departure and the various positions held with dates. No reference is made to the reason for terminating the contract of employment
An employer who fails to provide an employee a certificate of service as prescribed is liable to a fine of from 100,000 FRS to 1.000.000frs
1 January – New Year’s Day
11 February – Youth Day
19 April – Good Friday
21 April – Easter
27 April – Freedom Day
1 May – Labour Day
20 May – National Day
21 May – Sheep Festival
30 May – Ascension Day (Lailat al Miraj Night of Ascencion)
4 June – Djoulde Soumae (End of Ramadan)
11 August – Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
15 August – Assumption
10 November – Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammed) –
25 December – Christmas Day