Without going into specifics too much.

I work on a contract that obviously sets out a specific job description for me and a set amount of hours. However, my team leader is sending me to cover people who are off, who perform a different set of tasks than myself and in a different area, including duties I have never been taught. They are saying because my contract says 'other reasonable duties' this covers me performing these tasks.

It's also worth mentioning that the people I am covering work a shift pattern of 4 on, 4 off... and they are not entitled to breaks (I've never heard of this before, but basically something to do with they can eat whilst it's quiet - it's a security-related job).

When I cover them, I am not entitled to a break, which kind of annoys me because I do not have a break to go to the shop, and I only find out I am going to this post when I arrive at work. If I were to know beforehand I could prepare a meal to take.

I'm curious to know if it's even legal to send me to cover someone's job who is different to mine, and also operate on a separate contract.


(I am mindful that you accepted the other answer already, but it seems inaccurate and you should consider the following remarks)

Duties for which you have never been trained are not necessarily within the scope of "other reasonable duties". Consequently, those other duties might go beyond the scope of your contract. That question really depends on whether your profile fits (or is expected to fit) the scope and nature of those other tasks.

Regardless of what your agency tells you, what matters is the actual terms of your contract. This applies also to other inquiries you may have. Oftentimes an employer's alleged interpretation of a contract is wrong and does not withstand contract law doctrines such as the contra proferentem rule.

Beware, though, that your acquiescence of --or consent-- to questionable conditions at work might eventually become binding to you even if they are beyond the scope of the express contract you have with the agency. I believe it is in your best interest to clarify any contractual misunderstandings so as to avoid a conflict between your express contract and an implied one that is legitimized by the parties' subsequent conduct.


Yes, it is legal. "Other reasonable duties" covers a very wide ground.

You might get more helpful approaches over on workplace.stackexchange.com.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.