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Cremers and Houwerzijl report: subcontracting not properly regulated in EU

Published: 28th October 2021 Last updated: 25th July 2022

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Clearer rules are needed to properly regulate subcontracting, argue Jan Cremers and Mijke Houwerzijl, both affiliated with Tilburg Law School in a research report by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) published in Brussels on October 22. Their analysis paints a clear picture of the lack of legal provisions to regulate subcontracting through strong binding measures.

They mapped out whether and how the phenomenon of subcontracting is regulated in the European Union and the member states. They also analyzed (possible) gaps and/or inconsistencies in the legislation. They focused on due diligence, joint and several liability and transparency in reporting measures. 

Labour law aspects are barely addressed in the context of subcontracting, but mandatory shared responsibility, both for domestic and cross-border subcontracting situations, is also not adequately regulated. In addition, stringent monitoring of compliance with legal obligations and labor standards in the chain is lacking.  The publication is published in English and French and can be downloaded via the webpage.