Last edited 11 Nov 2020


As buildings become increasingly complicated, so it becomes less and less likely that any one contractor will have the required skills to carry out all of the works necessary to construct them, and it may not make good commercial sense to take on new employees for one project that would then have to be laid off for the next.

Increasingly therefore, contractors will use sub-contractors to carry out particular elements of the works. Sub-contractors (or subcontractors) are sometimes referred to as 'subbies', or increasingly, simply as 'suppliers'.

A sub-subcontract is a contract that is created by a subcontractor with an organisation or individual to perform a portion of the works for which the subcontractor was contracted. If a subcontractor intends to sub-subcontract part of their works, they ensure that the terms of the subcontract allow this.

One such sub-subcontract is the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT)’s Sub-subcontract (or SubSub), which is designed for use on sub-subcontract works where the main contract is a JCT contract. For more information, see JCT Sub-subcontract.

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Now, the picture is further complicated by the subcontractors who subcontract. Many subs are facing a number of risks while subcontracting, also complicating the situation for general contractors.

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