Spain signs first collective Women's Football agreement on pay, working conditions, maternity and medical protection
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Spanish football players have signed in Madrid the first collective agreement in Spanish  women's football history. This new legal framework enables women's professionalisation after months of negotiations which included strike action. 

Over these 17 months, crowds in Liga Iberdrola matches have been increasing, as we saw in Wanda Metropolitano or San Mamés, but only strikes in November, which paralysed a weekend's fixtures, seemed to make a difference.

Ainhoa Tirapu, Athletic Club's goalkeeper and AFE's vice-president, has referred to this agreement as the first stone towards a successful project in women's football. 

Meritxell Batet, president of the Congress, celebrated the footballers' effort towards signing this agreement and emphasised the importance in gender equality; the development of sport and culture; and the warranty of working conditions. 

Salary and working hours

The main point of discussion has been the partiality of the players' contracts. Clubs wanted to sign a 50% part-time deal, while the agreement has decided it to be 75%.  

In terms of salary, footballers will now earn €16,000 for those with a full-time contract, and €12,000 for part-time players. These conditions will improve 40% of the league's contracts. 

The working day has been established at seven hours a day, having a free day and a half per week. In addition, footballers should have 30 days of annual leave, enjoying 21 consecutively. During games, players should only gather 24 hours prior to a home match or 72 if they are playing away. 

Maternity and medical pay

Another important point of the agreement is maternity leave or illness and injury protection. If a player gets pregnant in her last season of contract, they have the right to sign for one more. Female players will receive full pay whilst injury or illness rules them out of playing. In case of disability, they will receive €90,000 and their families will get €60,000 in case of death.

Seniority is also recognised and players who have been linked to a team for over six years will receive €2,000. Every year they will be paid €500 more.  

This ruling applies to all 16 teams in Liga Iberdrola and will be in force from July 2019 to 30 June 2020. The agreement will have a one-year duration and will be renewed each season.