The Brexit Transition Act (“Brexit-StBG/Steuerbegleitgesetz” – The Act) will allow banks in Germany to terminate the employment of their high paid employees without following the usual strict requirements of German labor law. The Act is still under discussion within the German parliament. This blog provides an overview of the proposed simplification of termination protection.

A potential consequence of Brexit is that financial institutions currently based in London may look to relocate to other European financial centres. In Germany, this has led to a discussion around concerns that the German financial metropolis Frankfurt was facing a major disadvantage against competing cities such as Paris, Zürich and Barcelona.  German Employment protection laws were at the top of the list of concerns. In particular, the key issue was how employers would be able to terminate the employment of high paid (investment) bankers under strict German labor laws?

The solution proposed is not surprising: the Act shall provide banks with the right to file a motion to end employment without providing reasons (Sec. 9 para I 2 of the German Termination Protection Act/KSchG) thereby deviating from standard German termination protection proceedings. Under the new Act – if enacted – banks may benefit from the simplified termination proceedings provided the following prerequisites are met in order to trigger the respective motion to end employment by the banks:

– the employee is a so-called risk taker (”Risikoträger“) pursuant to Sec. 25a of the German Banking Act (Sec. 25a para 5a KWG);

– the annual fixed remuneration