The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will release an employers' liability (EL) regulatory impact assessment at the end of March.

This refers to its proposal to review the requirement for single-employee companies to have EL insurance.

In its final report on the EL crisis, released in December, the DWP proposed to review the compulsory insurance requirement for around 300,000 of the UK's smallest companies.

A DWP spokewoman said that discussions with stakeholders were currently under way and there was strong support for the idea.

The plan is supported by the Federation of Small Businesses, but has met with opposition from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

APIL president David Marshall said that the organisation was concerned that any such move would leave casual workers exposed.

Marshall said: "It is imperative that these companies do not slip through the net.

"Our worry is that although the owner may be the sole employee, many of these companies - particularly in the construction industry - go on to employ casual workers."

But a DWP spokeswoman said that according to Health and Safety Executive guidance, casual workers were classed as employees and any such firm would not qualify for the exemption.

APIL is also calling for the creation of a centralised employers' insurance bureau to record and monitor EL cover and to act as an insurer of last resort.

"Insurers should be compelled to give details of a company's EL policies to a central database or agency in order to see who is operating without insurance," Marshall said.