Some legislation has been introduced since the 1980s to safeguard the position of artists and performers in terms of social security. The debate continues, however, as artists and cultural professionals continue to campaign for the government to set up a specific system of social welfare for them:
- inclusion of artists in the General Social Security Scheme (Decree-Law 407/82);
- special support scheme for artists / writers having difficulty earning a living (Decree-Law 415/82 and Despatch 23605/2006 (Second Series));
- occupational retraining grant for artists or performers (Regulation-Despatch 79/83); and
- special early old-age pension scheme for classical and modern dancers (Decree-Law 482/99).
Artists who are independent (self-employed) professionals – as most are in the arts sector – are covered by the social security scheme for self-employed workers in the event of illness (only if they are covered by the comprehensive scheme, which requires higher monthly contributions), workplace accident and occupational illness, maternity, paternity and adoption, incapacity, old age and death, as well as maternity grants and retraining grants.