Big-hearted bookstore boss who had to shut his business during lockdown digs into his own pocket to pay laid-off workers who don’t qualify for government financial help
- Mark Rubbo is managing director of Readings Bookstores, based in Melbourne
- Kindly decided to help staff in lockdown who can’t get government assistance
- Rubbo has agreed to do so as he ‘wants to look after staff’ in dire times of need
A kind-hearted business owner is paying laid-off workers who can’t get government assistance during the lockdown out of his own pocket.
Mark Rubbo, the managing director of Readings Bookstores in Melbourne, made the decision after a colleague was approached by a desperate employee.
‘One of our staff rang my manager and said, ‘Look, I’ve got a little child. I’m getting $20 a week parental payment. I’m told I’m not able to access these (government) payments. Can you help me?,’ he told ABC Radio on Thursday morning.
‘So, we did a bit of research and estimated from the staff we had to stand down, about 20 per cent of them probably aren’t able to access any support payments.
Business owner Mark Rubbo (pictured) is paying laid-off workers who can’t get government assistance during the lockdown in Melbourne out of his own pocket
Mark Rubbo, the managing director of Readings Bookstores in Melbourne, is personally paying staff during the lockdown as he ‘wants to look after them’
‘So, we’ve offered to support them, because we want to look after them.’
Rubbo went onto label the JobKeeper program a ‘wonderful initiative’ and would like to see it reintroduced.
‘I think it worked really well last year, and given we are in another lockdown and business is terrible, people are feeling distressed,’ he said.
‘I’ve always been averse to debt, so I’ve always got a little bit of money stocked away.
‘That’s keeping us going at the moment, but obviously that won’t last forever.
‘I also feel for my Sydney colleagues who aren’t getting any rent relief during their lockdown. ‘These are difficult times to be running a business.’
In the past 24 hours, 26 new infections of locally acquired coronavirus were detected in Victoria.
All 26 cases are linked to the current outbreak, with only two of those cases in the community while infectious.
It brings the total number of active cases linked to Victoria’s current outbreak to 133.
Thursday’s increase is the highest daily rise in Victoria since September 18 of last year when the state was hit by a deadly second wave of cases.
NEW VICTORIAN SITES ON COVID ALERT
Anyone who attended the following venues during the times listed must isolate for 14 days regardless of a result:
Sunbury, Sunbury Square Medical Centre on July 19 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Mildura, Solunar Cafe on July 12 from 2:15pm – 2:30pm
Yarra Trams – Route 109 (Glenferrie Rd & Cotham Rd, Stop 36 to, Narrak Rd and Whitehorse Rd, Stop 51) on July 15 from 3:20pm – 3:38pm
Caulfield North, BWS Caulfield North on July 15 from 3:25pm – 3:50pm
Craigieburn, TK Maxx Craigieburn on July 15 from 3:15pm – 4:40pm
Anyone who attended the following venues must isolate until given a negative test result:
Endeavour Hills, Shell Coles Express Endeavour Hills on July 15 from 4:38pm – 4:55pm
Caulfield North, Woolworths Metro Caulfield North on July 15 from 3:25pm – 3:50pm
Narre Warren North, Australia Post Shop – Narre Warren North LPO on July 16 from 12:05pm – 12:30pm
Craigieburn, Craigieburn Central on July 15 from 3:00pm – 6:15pm
Bentleigh, Coles Bentleigh on July 15 from 6:15am – 6:45am and July 16 from 6:20am – 6:45am
Bentleigh, Fifth Chapter on July 15 from 12:50pm – 1:15pm
Bentleigh, Rec Xpress 24/7 Fitness on July 15 from 5:00am – 6:40am