Relocation to Frankfurt fraught with Problems

  • Susan Horne , Head of the International Employment Practice at Paul Hastings

  • 06.07.2017 11:00 am
  • undisclosed

One of the HR issues that the banks have been wrestling with as part of their Brexit insulation and response strategies is the contrast in labour laws in other EU jurisdictions. Put simply, it is harder and more expensive to terminate employees in Frankfurt or Paris than the UK, other than in exceptional circumstances. The news that Frankfurt is offering banks an exemption for “risk takers” from some of these strong protective rules is an incentive to the banks.

It would appear that this will be akin to the existing labour law exemption for managing directors from the German Dismissal Protection Act. However, a key measure of any successful Brexit relocation will be whether the banks can retain their top talent through the relocation and those talented “risk takers” may be less enamoured with this offer. From an employee engagement perspective, if they are required to relocate why shouldn’t they be entitled to the same legal protections in that jurisdiction? 

Post-Brexit, there is certain to be a transition period where those relocating employees will forum shop to get the best legal protection if their employment does come to an end and if this new exemption does come into effect satellite litigation as to whether individuals fall within this exemption.


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