Many of the UK's employment laws derive from Europe. Although some view these protections as overly burdensome for employers, it's unclear which rules the government would seek to relax in a negotiation. Labour and the trade unions are likely to vigorously oppose any watering down of employment rights. Specific exemptions for the UK will consequently be very difficult to implement, which may explain why the government is targeting EU wide changes.
It is understood that ministers are pushing the European Commission for a cut in the “burden” of EU employment rules on all 28 nations, rather than seeking the “wholesale abolition” of rules or special opt-outs for the United Kingdom.