This paper focuses on the corporate welfare system (strongly incentivized by 2016 Italian Government Stability Law) created by bilateral agreement in the construction sector. It is particularly referred to SMEs business model and on the importance of establishing cooperative relations between employer associations and trade unions. The analysis is developed considering a multi-disciplinary point of view and involving theories taken from industrial relations, strategic human resource management and sociology. In order to support these theories an analysis on the 8 building workers’ welfare funds (Casse Edili) operating in Piedmont has been conducted (employing a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods) with the aim of founding out if the corporate welfare model offered has been efficient and effective in the principle of subsidiarity. Eventually some key drivers like wages, management and governance have been investigated in order to define point of strengths, weaknesses and the opportunity of adopting the
model by other sectors and by SMEs.
Keywords: Corporate welfare, bilateral, SME, construction