Collective bargaining coverage is an important element of industrial relations systems as it determines the capacity of collective agreements to protect workers. Moreover, it has also been identified as a key institution reducing earnings disparities and limiting labour market dualisation. Ensuring high coverage is accordingly key to guarantee an inclusive and socially sustainable recovery.

One of the factors exerting a strongest impact on collective bargaining institutions is the growth in outsourcing and subcontracting, as they not only reshape company boundaries, but at the same time fragment the representation base of trade unions.

Funded by the European Commission DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and involving 5 European partners, the RECOVER project addresses the aim of EU to improve knowledge on industrial relations institutions and practices across the EU. In particular RECOVER analyses whether and how the growth in outsourcing and subcontracting is triggering coverage problems for workers in these outsourced services. The project will accordingly compare cases of collective bargaining coverage gaps in outsourced services at sectoral and company level in six countries