How to Manage Performing Duties Outside of Your Job Description

As a PA you may occasionally be asked to perform duties outside of your normal job description. While this can be a normal part of any job, if it becomes frequent or you are uncomfortable with what you are being asked to do, you may need to address this with your employer.

What does it mean to be performing duties outside of your job?

When taking on a new position with an employer, it is common for you to have clearly defined duties from your employment contract, job description, induction and training.

If an employer asks you to take on duties that are not covered under your stated responsibilities, you are working outside of your job description.

Your contract may include the phrase “any other reasonable duties” which normally relates to tasks that are incidental, not expected to happen frequently, or come up in an emergency and which it would be impractical to include in your contract or job description.

Most employers will have a statement in the contract of employment to cover any other duties they would like their PA to undertake. This is a way of making sure that they can receive the support they need.

The core duties that a PA has will vary from one employer to another, but they are likely to cover areas such as support with:

  • Personal care
  • Meal preparation
  • Cleaning and maintaining the person’s house
  • Medication
  • Accessing the local community.

There may be the odd occasion where the employer needs support with something, like managing finances, dealing with correspondence or tradespeople. However, they may be on an occasional basis and something that is in line with the expectations of the role of a PA.

What if I am asked to do something outwith my job description?

If your employer asks you to do something outwith your usual duties or job description, you may view this in different ways.

By its nature, the role of a PA is generally a flexible one, and many PAs will be as flexible as possible when it comes to supporting their employer. If you are asked to support with something new or additional it might be helpful to see the request in this light.

If asked to do something outwith your usual duties or job description, it may be an opportunity for you to advance your skills and knowledge.

If you are asked to do something outwith your job description that you are not comfortable with, the best approach is often to speak with your employer. You may find the article at the bottom of this page, ‘If you need to say ‘no’ to your employer’ helpful.

If asked to do something outwith your job description it’s also worth considering whether you feel you are able to do this safely and well. If you don’t, speak with your employer – you could perhaps ask for training to make sure you’re going to be able to do whatever has been asked, safely.

Next steps

Take a look at the articles below ‘Checking Your Employment Rights’ and ‘If You Need to Say ‘No’ to Your Employer’ for more useful guidance.

Part of
Last Updated
10 June 2024
First Published
01 April 2022
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.