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Do you have this in your Employment Contract – Other tasks deemed necessary

September 22, 2008

Management reserves the right to assign you any task it deems necessary. This catch-all phrase often appears in your job scope which is read together with your employment contract.

Do you think this is a fair clause?

I’ve heard of a case where a female programmer was asked to double up as the tea lady because the tea lady had gone on long medical leave.

I’m no lawyer and won’t pretend to be one πŸ™‚ but I have also heard of cases that turn into constructive dismissal lawsuits. That’s where if your company reassigns you to a lower level job, you can consider yourself constructively dismissed and you can bring it to the judge. Or something like that.

So this clause about assigning you any task deemed necessary, how far should it go? And do you have the right to refuse?

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Related To This

Do you have this in your Employment Contract – The Study Bond

Do you have this in your Employment Contract, Part 1

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. ahkiong permalink
    September 22, 2008 6:53 pm

    It’s obviously not fair at all! If me, i would question them. If i do things that is outta of my job scope i would only ask them two questions. Is this a favor or this is included in my job scope? This is a very powerful question but beware of getting FIRED =)

    Sound like you are not v happy with your company. πŸ™‚

  2. September 22, 2008 6:55 pm

    Oh ya finally, i post as JustinKC instead of ahkiong. Hehe…..just tot of one thing. You can bring this contract to the “Jabatan Pekerja” there and lodge a complain or ask the professional =) Good Luck!

    Hey Justin, welcome to my blog and thanks for the tip. I’m sure it’ll be handy when its time to lodge a grievance.

  3. September 22, 2008 9:37 pm

    I think this becomes more of a common sense issue rather than anything else. In the case of your example, wouldn’t the female programmer be more productive doing programming work rather than doubling up as a tea lady.

    From a rational non-legal view point, my advice is fine… I can do the tea lady work so long as my working hours remains the same. Heck, I don’t mind doing an office boy’s work, so long as my monthly pay check remains the same.

    If I were in such a company, I would prepare for Plan B ASAP.

    I don’t know the details except she was apparently asked by management to make drinks for visitors and clean up after them. It disrupted her work and she fears she will be penalized for any drop in productivity at year end.

    Oh yeah, I wouldn’t mind being a receptionist and paid USD$6,000 a month. I wouldn’t even want a plan B! πŸ™‚

  4. September 23, 2008 9:41 am

    this can get rather subjective depends on the “victim”. sometimes it’s just a favour from the boss while the tea lady is away for 1 day or two. sometimes, the boss abuses his “authority”.

    but i’ve also heard of incidents where the boss needs the employee to work on documentation or something related to the job, YET, it is not in the job scope. the employee would complain up and down and refuses to work on it.

    if i were the boss, it just shows me that u r not flexible enough to do other things besides that “job scope” of yours.

    thats why for me, if it’s for short term, it’s fine. definitely not for long term.

    Good point about staff not being flexible enuf. The key thing is where do you draw the line. Open-ended clauses like this is a test of judgement for both boss and staff. In the programmer’s case, I was told she had to do the tea lady thing for more than a month. She quit soon after that.

  5. LC Teh permalink
    September 23, 2008 8:37 pm

    off topic… love your nice new page outlook and your pineapple home!!

    Thanks. Complements your watermelon theme at multiply doesn’t it. πŸ™‚

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