Over the past few weeks French authorities have faced fierce opposition to their proposed law granting employers the right to dismiss young workers after two years on the job. Under current French law it is next to impossible to fire workers. Employers are understandably hesitant to hire workers they can not fire, leading to extremely high unemployment rates, especially amongst the youth. (This reality has hit the Muslim youth of France hard leading to its own set of social issues.) It was to give these youth an opportunity to find employment that this law was proposed creating the extreme backlash we are witnessing.
The proposed law would find much favour in Jewish law. The Talmud was faced with a similar dilemma regarding loans. Jewish law states that in order to collect a debt the testimony of two witnesses is required, witnesses who must be thoroughly cross examined. In order to avoid the hardship of this demanding process lenders simply stopped granting loans. It just was not worth their while. The Talmudic Sages realizing the social harm that was being caused relaxed the requirements necessary to collect outstanding loans. In order "not to close the door on borrowers" the Sages no longer required detailed cross examination ( drisha vchakira ) of witnesses and also allowed non-licensed (i.e. those without proper semicha ) people to serve as judges. While there was some potential risk of unwarranted collection the overall benefit to society was undeniable, opening up the way for economic opportunities for the needy.
A similar problem prompted the great Talmudic Sage Hillel to introduce the pruzbul, a legal mechanism allowing lenders to collect loans that were left outstanding during the shmitta (sabbatical) year. As part of the laws of the shmitta year all outstanding loans are cancelled. The Torah warns against the "evil" of denying loans prior to the beginning of a sabbatical year lest the borrower purposely not pay it back before the end of the year, rendering the loan uncollectible. Nonetheless, human nature being what it is many did avoid granting loans and Hillel enacted the pruzbol not only to protect lenders but to ensure that funds would be available for borrowers.
Similarly the heter iska developed during the middle ages allowed Jews to charge "interest" on "loans" to fellow Jews, ultimately benefiting society as a whole. In matters of civil law it the right and the duty of our Sages to examine the overall impact of current law and to make adjustments where necessary. This is what the Talmud refers to as Tikun Olam , repairing the world. It appears quite obvious to me at least, that while some youth may potentially be fired from jobs they receive, many more, including those to be dismissed in the future, will attain jobs they otherwise would not have. And that is a law worth having.
Most likely Jewish law sees no need for such a law in the first place. Judaism does not grant automatic tenure. According to most authorities an employer has no obligation to renew an employee's contract after its termination date; terms of the contract indicate that the job is of a temporary nature. Even Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l who argued that absent incompetence a worker retains a right to their job at contract expiry, agreed that by specifically stating in the contract that the job is of a temporary nature an employer can avoid the granting of "tenure". All agree that an employer may lay off workers in cases of economic distress. It is finding the proper balance between the rights of the employer and those of the employees that is the goal of Jewish employment law.