The reforms the women’s professional peloton have been seeking for years are beginning to be legislated by the UCI. In 2020, professional cyclists employed by Women’s WorldTeams will have the right to maternity leave. The UCI also announced that beginning in 2020, the minimum wage for Women’s WorldTeams will be set at €15,000 but that number will rise in the following years.
Pressure for minimum working conditions to build a better foundation for the sport came under the organizational structure of The Cyclists’ Alliance which was founded last December. The goal was to improve working conditions for women cyclists and they are beginning to see progress.
The maternity leave amendment to the UCI’s regulations stipulates that a rider who is pregnant will be entitled to 100 per cent of their salary for three months and 50 per cent of their salary for a period of five additional months. This clause will specifically apply to contracts between self-employed riders and UCI Women’s WorldTeams.
Women pros can also expect better insurance through their contracts starting in 2020 with entitlements to health and maternity insurances, and even a pension plan by 2022.
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Most recent major employment standards victory before this came at the world championships in Innsbruck when the UCI announced that a minimum wage would be implemented in the sport. The UCI has now set what the minimum wage will be.
Beginning in 2020, the minimum wage for riders employed by teams will be €15,000 and €24,600 for self-employed riders. In 2021 that will rise to €20,000 and €32,800 respectively. By 2022 the minimum wages will be set at €27,500 for employed riders and €45,100 for self-employed ones. Self-employed riders are guaranteed a higher minimum salary because they pay their own taxes and social security.
At the world championships the UCI also re-structured women’s cycling giving it a two tiered structure with WorldTeams making up the upper echelon followed by Continental Teams. The goal will be to have five WorldTeams in 2020 that could double to 10 in 2021 and rise again to 15 by 2022. UCI team licenses will range between two to four years.