All persons who are in employment, who work freelance or are self employed fall within the framework of the general legislation for social security. Thus, every person who has attained the age of sixteen, but not yet retired, shall be insured under the Act as either of the above. By implication, the corresponding social security schemes for the respective workers applies and in turn entitles such persons to a pension, sickness benefits and social assistance. A large number of artists are registered as self-employed and those who do not earn sufficient income from such engagements find that Social Security Act does not cater for the specific needs of freelance artists. Currently, most artists are not represented by an association in order to promote their needs not has it been conceived to devise a collective agreement that may address the difficulties artists face. As a result, there is no body or organisation that can lobby for such needs and interests. With regards to the cultural and creative industries, to semi-professionals employed in the public sector, the Budget 2008 speech announced that they “will now be able to request leave without pay for a definite period of time in order that they may develop or work on artistic projects.”
Relevant cultural policy action:
The MCCA in consultation with the Ministries of Culture and Finance shall develop an action plan dedicated to the promotion of the status of the artist. This shall consider issues of social security, tax incentives and other areas which are conducive to creating a culture of professionalism within the arts. The above bodies shall also coordinate with the government entities responsible for Intellectual Property matters in order to strengthen the safeguards provided by intellectual property rights, as well as to ensure that the redistribution mechanisms arising from the collection of royalties of artworks are fully functional.