Getting a determination on your Employment status

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What should I do if I’ve been told that I’m self-employed but I don’t think I am?

In most cases it will be clear whether an individual is employed or self-employed.  However, in some cases it may not always be obvious. If you feel that your employment status needs further investigation you should contact the Department’s Scope Section who can provide a determination on an individual’s employment status, where this is in question.

Contact Us:

Scope Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Gandon House
Amiens Street
Dublin 1
D01 A361
Tel:                        (+353) 1 673 2585

For further information on the work of Scope Section, please visit:

What does Scope Section do?

The Department’s Scope Section deals with employers, employees and the self-employed, who wish to apply to have their work status investigated to ensure that the correct PRSI Class is being applied.  Scope Section has the legal authority to make a determination on your employment status under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (as amended).

What happens during a Scope Section investigation?

The Department’s Scope Section will begin an investigation and refer your case to a Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) who will interview both you and your employer separately concerning the nature of your employment/self-employment. Following on from this, the SWI will submit a detailed report to Scope Section for them to make a formal determination.

What part will I have to play in the investigation?

You will be asked to provide information to support your case. This could include written contracts, wage slips and lists of duties and instructions. Any information you can provide will help the Department’s Scope Section make a determination.

Your employer will also be asked to provide supporting documentation such as written contracts, accounts and wages books, and annual returns to aid the investigation.

What happens when Scope Section makes their determination?

If the determination confirms that you are correctly employed or self-employed, and the correct class of PRSI has been paid for you, then no further action is required by the Department.
If the determination confirms that you are falsely self-employed, and that the incorrect class of PRSI has been returned for you, the Department will amend your PRSI contribution record.  This amendment will be made even if the company who employed you has since ceased trading.

Can a Scope Section determination be appealed?

All Scope Section determinations can be appealed by either party. Appeals must be sent in writing to the Social Welfare Appeals Office within 21 days of the date of the determination.

The Appeals Office operates independently of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and is headed by a Chief Appeals Officer. It has its own Appeals Officers who are independent in their decision-making role.

The Chief Appeals Officer
Social Welfare Appeals Office
D’Olier House
D’Olier Street
Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 6732800

Related Links

For further, more detailed, information on PRSI, please visit:

For information on PRSI contributions and classes, please visit:

Further information regarding your employment rights and entitlements is available on the Workplace Relations Commission website, please visit:

Further information on self-assessment PRSI for self-employed individuals is available on Revenue’s website, please visit:

Last modified:03/05/2018