A schoolboy could be forced to give up his paper round because of child labour laws
Sam Green-Jeffries, aged 15, from Bromsgrove, began delivering papers two years ago starting his morning round at 6.45am in order to get to school on time.
But after an anonymous tip-off local council officials called Sam, his mum and his employer warning them they were falling foul of a 1963 law stating children under 16 must not work before 7am.
The teenager, with eight brothers and sisters, said completing the 1.5-mile round, which he does seven days a week for £25, and getting to school on time, is impossible unless he starts early.
“It’s practically impossible for me to get home and then get to school on time.
“I just can’t give it up though. I really enjoy it. I wanted to start when I was twelve and had to wait another year because of the law.I have got to know all of my customers really well and I enjoy going the extra mile to help them in any way I can.”
Over the three years Sam has shown his dedication by carrying out chores for one of his customers who is bed-ridden because of lung cancer.
Shocked mum, also named Sam, said she couldn’t believe when the local council threatened her son’s employer with court action.
Mrs Green-Jeffries, 39, said “You always hear about teenagers being lazy and causing trouble, yet this is a boy who wants to work hard and now he’s being told he can’t.
“With eight children in the house mornings are like a military operation, if Sam doesn’t start before 7am he can’t do his jobs or be ready for school.”
Vicky Onions, the teenager’s employer, praised the young man’s dedication.
She said: “I don’t expect Sam to start early but he takes it upon himself to, which shows what a dedicated and committed young man he is. He just wants to work, he is ambitious and just wants to be a success.”
The department of education said: “The Government is currently considering possible reforms”.