Duties vs Obligations: Difference and Comparison

Along the even lines, the word duty can be restricted to a particular utilization so that there arises zero confusion with the other word, i.e. obligation.

Key Takeaways

  1. Duty is a responsibility required as part of a job or position, while obligation is a moral or legal responsibility to do something.
  2. Duty is assigned to an individual by an authority figure or employer, while the obligation is self-imposed or societal.
  3. Failing to fulfill a duty can result in consequences such as job loss or disciplinary action, while failing to satisfy an obligation can result in personal guilt or legal repercussions.

Duties vs Obligations

Duties are tasks or actions that an individual is expected to perform as part of their job or role, enforceable by law or rules. Obligations, however, refer to a moral or ethical responsibility to fulfill or complete specific tasks or promises, not legally enforceable but tied to personal honor or societal norms.

Duties vs Obligations

A duty is a moral or legal right. The key of the term duty is technically the same as due, but wholly, it is clarified as being what’s expected from a person as a person, when born, to a fellow person.

On the other hand, obligation refers to a particular thing that must be performed whether we like it or not. It has to be fulfilled as they are mentioned and can’t be ignored if someone belongs or lives in a society.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDutiesObligation
DefinitionThe period spent doing a task or spent at work.Legal or moral that compels a person to avoid or follow a particular action.
NatureCannot be compelled by others.Can be compelled by others.
Rules and regulationsA person isn’t bound to follow any compulsory.The person is bound to follow them compulsory.
Relationship statusNon-contractual.Contractual.
ExampleA government tax on exports or imports.Written obligation on things like checks, stamps, banknotes etc.

What are Duties?

The term duty underlines morality sense, letting a person be in some activity. The control accompanies the individual and is not compelled by others.

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The presence of norms and regulations can’t be seen in the case of duty. It can be seen as an individual expectation or societal demand. Duty is a sense of performing things appropriately that leads to action.

Duties can approach from the following sources:

  1. As an outcome of a person’s character
  2. As an outcome of a person’s self-morality, presumptions for oneself
  3. As an outcome of a person’s specific place in life
  4. As an outcome of a person being a human

Regarding source, a duty is an ideal behaviour stimulated by principles of agreement justice. These duties form a behavioural authority, above and over the agreement, a substructure into which the contract fits.

The zone enclosed by duties is broader than that of obligations. The dissimilarity is in the certainty appealed in English law to illustrate the duty of confidentiality.


What are Obligations?

When understanding the word obligation, you can define it as something an individual must do due to a law, agreement, etc. So, he is bound to finish a task or be involved in work because of some terms and conditions.

A person is obliged to involve in many activities in different contexts. Specifically, obligation holds a strong meaning in the corporate world, like, in the case of newly assigned aspirants.

This agreement involves many duties and job descriptions to which the working employee had to adhere. This can be seen as an obligation after the agreement signing, where the person performs many tasks.

It isn’t mortality that attracts employees to do work, but the norms and rules. This underlines that, in an obligation, a person isn’t motivated but compelled to task execution.

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There are three kinds of obligations, namely social, written and political. Social obligation is for the thing we as a person accept as it is collected. Written obligations are agreements.


Main Differences Between Duties and Obligations

  1. One fulfils a duty if and only a person desires so, while obligations aren’t subjected to a person’s wish but must be fulfilled anyway.
  2. A duty may or may not be term bounded, while an obligation is term-bounded and comes with other rules and regulations.
Difference Between Duties and Obligations
  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9781400853977.130/html
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/colhr32&section=19

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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