What constitutes any other duties in a contract?

Friday November 29 2019

Caroline Mboijana

Caroline Mboijana 

By Caroline Mboijana

My boss asked me to take on a load, which should be handled by a different person. First, it seemed like a one-off, now it’s a permanent load on my desk, which is affecting my productivity. I have tried to talk to my supervisor in vain . I feel the company is taking advantage of the any other duty clause to exploit workers. Gail

Dear Gail
“Any other duties” is a grey area and can sometimes be difficult to manage once it is included in the job description and employment contract. It is included to leave room in the event there are special projects or assignments that arise which are typically for a temporary period.

The current employment law caters for this clause, in as much as the law will consider “other duties” to be related to work during one’s tenure of employment. The concern you’ve raised is whether your employer is using the clause to their advantage resulting in you taking on unmanageable workload. While I recognise you’ve raised the matter before, I suggest you try one more time.

You may want to consider presenting your case as a solution and not a problem. This does not mean there isn’t problem, but the immediate need is to reduce your workload. In presenting your case, it’s important to describe these “other duties”.

Take notes of the activities that come under “other duties”; how frequent are you are being asked to deliver them; and how long is it taking you to do so. If the total number of hours it takes you to complete “other duties” plus your required duties is more than your contracted hours, then you have the evidence that supports your grievance of too much work. In addition, this note taking will allow you to check whether “other duties” have extended to activities that cross the professional and ethical line.

Your supervisor should be influenced to re-evaluate both yours and the whole team’s workload. If this does not yield any results, raise your concerns through your grievance procedure for resolution.


Caroline Mboijana
Managing Director
The Leadership Team (U)