5.1.4 Social security frameworks
Initially artists and creative workers were classified under a special category for the purposes of social security (2133/1975 Decree). Ten years later, by virtue of Decree 26/1985, they obtained the same rights and obligations as all other workers. Performing artists and bullfighters were then grouped together under a special heading within the general social security system. Another Royal Decree (2621/1986) made specific provisions for income averaging in view of the considerable monthly fluctuations in artists' income as well as a provision regarding the possibility of early retirement for performing artists in an effort to compensate them when they reached an age when they could no longer perform.
All these particular provisions were included in the 40/2007 Act on Social Security related measures which stipulated that in one year the government would update the regulations governing the special employment relationship of artists in public shows. In addition, it would modify the Social Security system that is applicable to these artists, in order to facilitate schemes for making contributions with as few breaks as possible and to adapt these regulations to new forms of service provision. This legislation is still pending.
The scheme for authors is different as they were considered self-employed workers (2621/1986 Royal Decree). Again, efforts were made to establish a fair level of disability insurance and a retirement plan, considering the fluctuations in the annual income of this group. The self-employed workers statute (20/2007 Act) indicates that competent public administrations can sign agreements with Social Security to reduce the contributions of individuals who are self-employed in craft or arts areas ( chapter 5.1.5 provides information on the various ways of providing tax relief for authors).
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".