IRFU apologises for "error" in advertising unpaid internship position 3 years ago

IRFU apologises for "error" in advertising unpaid internship position

A new and improved job posting is expected in the coming weeks.

The Irish Rugby Football Union has apologised after a job advertisement for an unpaid internship was posted online, which would have required the successful candidate to have a Masters or a PhD.

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The position in question - a National Sports Science intern required to work 40 hours per week over six months - has now been withdrawn.

Other criteria needed for the now-defunct job included a record of published research, experience in building neural network models and working with databases, and a verifiable record of previously delivering a high level of sports science support for a high-performance professional rugby team.

As reported on RTÉ Six One on Monday,  the Workplace Relations Commission noted that all workers, including interns with a contract of employment, are entitled to receive at least the minimum wage of €9.55 per hour, or €382, for a 40-hour week.

With no exemption in place for internships according to the National Minimum Wage Act, the WRC carries out inspections to ensure that individuals are not exploited by their employer.

Asked how such a job posting featuring the required specifications could constitute an unpaid internship, the IRFU confirmed that the advertisement had been removed after it originally appeared "in error."

The IRFU said that it does not have any unpaid internship positions in practice, adding that the requirements for this "exciting" role have yet to be officially finalised.

An "improved" job description is expected to surface in the coming weeks.

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The IRFU moved to apologise for any confusion caused by the error, noting that the advertisement had not been previously approved.