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Economic contribution of homeworkers highlighted

Officials have a duty to better understand the contribution home-based freelance workers make to the economy, it's claimed.

The call arrives on the heels of research carried out to mark this month's National Freelancers Day, which suggests home-based freelancers willing to work flexibly have been growing in appeal for recession-hit companies forced to shed full-time positions.

Analysts suggest this highlights a longer-term trend of individuals moving from employment into home-based self-employment to enable them to trade on skills they acquire while working flexibly.

"The contribution we make to the economy is massive," freelance IT worker Chris Bryce tells the Telegraph. "Conceptually, the government does not realise it's a very large section of the economic community. Because they can't put their finger on it they are a little bit too cautious about it."

According to Bryce, who turned to freelance work after being made redundant in 1991, the main hurdle to setting up his own enterprise was the paperwork. However he acknowledges that, ultimately, even this was "relatively straightforward".

Some of the advantages to homeworking he identifies include the independence it affords, the ability to be "more robust" than an employee and the lack of any obligation to "play politics".

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