subcontract(redirected from subcontracting)
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Related to subcontracting: outsourcing
subcontractthe contract between a party and a main contractor who himself is contracted to another, often called the employer, albeit the contract is not one of employment in the contemporary colloquial sense. Subcontracts are very commonly found in building contracts. The employer contracts with the main contractor, who himself contracts for work to be done, like windows or floors, by others who can do so better or cheaper. A subcontractor maybe nominated by the employer. There are effectively and legally only two contracts, the subcontractor not being contractually bound to the employer. However, it is not uncommon for the employer to seek some form of contractual comfort from the subcontractor if his involvement is critical to the project. Standard forms govern many of the relationships between the parties. In one case it was held that a subcontractor could be held liable to an employer in tort or delict where the relationship was proximate, indeed, very like contract, a decision that, although doubted to the point of extinction in England, has not been overruled and has been followed elsewhere in the Commonwealth.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006