Career Advice

Facing More Responsibility at Work for The Same Pay? Here’s How to Respond

more responsibility same pay

Inflation and the rising cost of living literally leave less money in our pockets. But what about your job? Does the compensation still feel fair? If you’ve been dealing with a bump in responsibilities, but no equivalent increase in compensation, this post advises you on what to do. 

Can My Employer Give Me More Responsibility Without More Pay?

Yes, legally your employer can increase your range of responsibilities without increasing your compensation. But it’s not an appropriate thing to do. Employees should be fairly compensated for extra responsibilities since they usually require more effort and skill to do. This is usually called “horizontal career growth” and it includes a salary bump. 

Last year, employers increased salaries for executives, management, professional, and support staff by 3% on average. That’s after an average 2.7% increase in 2021. 

However, more responsibilities may not always lead to higher pay. For example, you may not get an immediate salary increase if you took extra responsibilities: 

In general, everyone’s situation is different. If you’re concerned about your current workload, talk to your manager directly.  

OK, But Can I Refuse More Responsibility at Work?

Yes, you have a right to refuse to take on additional responsibilities at work. But it’s important to approach this situation carefully and professionally. If you refuse extra responsibilities because you don’t feel that you are being adequately compensated for the work you are already doing, negotiate a fair salary increase. If you’re reluctant because of your skillset, talk about the possibility of getting extra training.

You can also give a flat “no”. But doing so may come with some consequences. Depending on your employment arrangements, your employer may be within their rights to:

  • Take disciplinary action against you
  • Suggest a demotion
  • Transfer you to another division 

The above is usually the case if you refuse to do work that is within the scope of your role. So it’s always better to discuss the matters with your boss and HR before making a rash decision. 

Right, How Do I Tell My Boss I Have Too Much Responsibility?

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed with work. Over a third of all US workers always or very often feel burned out, in most cases — due to high workload. 

too much work

If you are among this cohort, it’s important to communicate your experiences to your boss in a  professional and constructive manner.

Here’s how to explain to your boss that you have too many responsibilities: 

  1. Review your job responsibilities and assess the workload you are currently managing. 
  1. Make a list of the tasks and projects you are responsible for, and prioritize them in order of importance and deadline.
  1. Schedule a 1:1 meeting with your boss to discuss your concerns. 
  1. During the meeting, clearly and concisely explain the reasons why you feel overwhelmed by your current responsibilities. Use your list of tasks and projects to provide specific examples of how your workload has become unmanageable.
  1. Offer suggestions for how your responsibilities could be redistributed or streamlined to alleviate some of the pressure you are feeling. For example, you could suggest delegating some tasks to other team members or purchasing extra tech to automate menial work. 
  1. Be prepared to discuss the potential consequences of not addressing your workload concerns, such as decreased productivity, burnout, or even turnover. Emphasize the importance of finding a solution that is beneficial for both you and the company.
  1. Listen to your boss’s feedback and be open to suggestions for addressing your workload concerns. Try to come to a mutually agreeable solution that allows you to continue doing your best work without feeling overwhelmed.
  1. Thank your boss for considering your concerns. Follow up as needed to ensure that any agreed-upon changes get implemented.

How Do You Ask for a Raise When Given More Responsibility?

To make a strong case for getting a raise, make a list of all extra tasks and projects you’ve taken out recently. Then make a list of your achievements and the added value you have brought to the company as a result of these responsibilities. Then present this evidence as arguments for increasing your salary. 

During the conversation with your manager, emphasize the extra time and effort you have put into your work, and how your increased responsibilities have made you a more valuable member of the team.

Finally, come in with a precise number in mind for a salary increase. It should be reasonable and in line with the industry compensation for the same roles. 

If your boss can’t offer you the increase you are requesting, try to come to a compromise or alternative arrangement that recognizes the value of your work. For example, you can negotiate a performance-based or retention bonus, more flexible working hours, or another type of perk you’d appreciate. 

Sample Email To Request a Salary Increase When Given More Responsibilities 

Hello [Boss],

As you probably know, I have taken extra responsibilities over the past X months. Apart from the standard workload, I’ve been also dealing with:

  • [Extra task 1]
  • [Extra task 2]
  • [Extra task 3]

I am grateful for the opportunity to take on these responsibilities, and I have enjoyed the challenges and learning opportunities they have provided. However, I believe that my increased workload and the added value I have brought to the company merit a corresponding increase in my pay.

I would be happy to discuss this further with you at your convenience. Could you schedule a call at [time, date]? 


[Your Name]

To Conclude 

More work warrants higher pay. If you feel that you are taking on more responsibility than ever, talk to your boss about getting a raise. If a raise is not realistic at the moment, ask your employer to create a career development plan for you. Have an open conversation about your career goals. Do they see other professional areas where you should develop in order to get a raise and a promotion? Document all of these in your development plan to keep both yourself and your employer accountable for your progress.


  • Elena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more


  1. Hi,

    Thank you for the guidelines.
    I have spoken to my boss face to face and emailed all my additional duties 3 times already, and its been 2 years later and my work keeps on increasing. My boss keeps on telling me that he will arrange for my salary to be increased but there’s always excuses why it’s not happening.

    I have compiled a new list with all the additional duties I perform and will be having a meeting with HR tomorrow.

    Wish me luck.

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