Subdistrict Court recently rejected a request for termination of an employment agreement based on poor performance after an improvement plan of two years. There were no objections to the employee’s performance until a new manager was appointed in 2013. The manager commenced an improvement plan in January 2014. After six months of illness, the employee was able to reintegrate. In November 2014, the employer asked the Labour Office (in Dutch: UWV) for permission to terminate the employment agreement on the grounds of poor performance. The request was rejected. In the beginning of 2016, the manager decided that the improvement plan failed to achieve any sufficient improvement. As a result, the employer submitted an application to the Subdistrict Court requesting the Court to terminate the employment agreement on the grounds of poor performance. It stands out to the Court that the employee’s manager has carried out the improvement plan by its sole discretion without any assistance of a professional HR staff member. In such case – where a manager and an employee are dependent on each other – it is not surprising that the employment relationship is put to the test. Since the new manager was appointed to the employee, a partly subjective assessment took place with respect to the required competences, which unilaterally rested with the manager. The Court ruled that in this case, the improvement plan was considered to be an unequal struggle and appeared to be aimed at changing the employee’s personality. Therefore, the request for termination was rejected. Please note that an improvement plan must be in accordance with objective criteria and must be carried out by at least two persons on behalf of the employer, preferably by a manager and a professional HR staff member.