The status of a managing director (Geschäftsführer) of a German limited liability company (GmbH) is determined (i) by the appointment as managing director and, thus, the corporate office as a legal representative of the company and (ii) by the underlying service agreement. If a company intends to separate from a managing director, both, the appointment and the service agreement have to be terminated. It’s important to realize that these are two different issues that need to be addressed when parting ways with a managing director. READ MORE
In practice, managing directors (Geschäftsführer) frequently try to attack the validity of a dismissal and bring unfair dismissal claims. In a recent decision, the Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) has again rejected such claims. The court reiterates that managing directors do not enjoy rights of protection against dismissal if their appointment as managing director has been in place at the time notice of termination was given.
The German Dismissal Protection Act Does Not Apply to Managing Directors
Pursuant to section 14(1) no. 1 of the German Dismissal Protection Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz, KSchG), the provisions on dismissal protection
“do not apply, within the operation of a legal entity, to the members of a corporate body which has been appointed to legally represent the legal entity“.