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 can no longer perform due to ageing).
All these particular provisions were included in the 40/2007 Act on Social Security related measures, which stipulated that the government would update the regulations governing the special employment relationship of artists in public shows. The aim was to modify the Social Security system that is applicable to these artists, in order for them to make regular financial contributions to their insurance fund. Finally, some of these claims have been included in the 26/2018 Royal Decree-Law passed in December 2018, that implements partially the Statute of the Artist, giving artists maintained access to social protection in times of disability, pregnancy or inactivity. Another of the collective’s great demands is still pending: the compatibility of the retirement pension with the remuneration of artistic creation and the collection of royalties. 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.