Upon Termination of the Employment Contract, the Employee had to Pay Part of the Lump Sum Payment of the Lease Contract

Upon Termination of the Employment Contract, the Employee had to Pay Part of the Lump Sum Payment of the Lease Contract
Date: 12-05-2024
Year of publication en number of publication: 2024 / 552
Reference: Sub-district Court of Alkmaar, February 28, 2024, ECLI:NL:RBNHO:2024:1635

Although, upon leaving the company, the employee was not contractually obliged to pay the lump sum payment of the lease contract for the car provided to him, being a good employee implied that he had to pay part of the amount anyway.
Early 2022, an employee entered into the service of a tax consultancy firm as a senior tax advisor. Upon entering employment, the employer had agreed to take over the lease contract for the car the previous employer had made available to him.
The employment contract was short-lived: end of May 2023, the employee terminated the contract. The employment contract therefore ended on July 1, 2023. The employer then owed the leasing company a lump sum payment of nearly € 10,000 due to the lease surrender. The employer settled part of it with the employee's final salary and requested the employee to pay him the remaining part of just over € 7,000.
The employee did not agree that the lump sum payment was for his account.
According to him, he had never agreed on this with the employer. It had not been regulated in the employment contract either, and, end of January 2022, he had refused to sign an agreement in which the issue was still regulated. In his view, he had not done anything unlaw or ever acted in contravention of being a good employee either.
When the Sub-district Court judge had to rule on the case, it first and foremost determined that the employment contract did not regulate anything about the lease car. The employment contract referred to a separate agreement, but this agreement was never reached. When such an agreement was subsequently offered, the employee, indeed, had refused to sign it and later, the employer had never made a second attempt to reach an agreement.
A reference to the employee handbook in the employment contract did not provide a contractual basis for charging the lump sum either.
In the Sub-district Court’s view, the employer had insufficiently substantiated that there had been an unlawful act.
The Sub-district Court was of the opinion, however, that being a good employee obliged the employee to pay part of the costs. Certainly in view of his position as a senior tax advisor and in view of the fact that the employer had been obliged to take over his lease contract with the previous employer, the employee should have understood that the premature termination of the lease contract would lead to costs for the employer, such as a lump sum payment. And the employer had been prepared to take over the lease contract from the previous employer under the conditions of applicability of its own lease scheme. The Sub-district Court therefore found it unreasonable that the employer should pay all the costs of the lease surrender.
The Sub-district Court therefore decided that the employee had to pay the costs up to the part that the employer had already settled with the salary.
The remaining costs remained with the employer.


Terminating an employment contract with an employee whose employer provided him/her with a lease car usually leads to a problem with the ongoing lease contract. If the car cannot passed on to another employee, the employer either has to pay all remaining lease periods or a lump sum payment.
If the employment contract ends as a result of termination by the employee, it usually implies that the employee will start working for another employer. In that case, it is not unreasonable for the employee to take over the obligation under the lease contract. Then, the employee may, in turn, stipulate that the new employer will take over the obligations. But it is not necessarily so, in such a situation, that the employee is obliged to take over the obligations under the lease contract. It is the employer who has to stipulate it and the best time to do so is the moment when the car is made available. Therefore the employer needs to ensure that, once a car is made available, a written arrangement is made, or becomes applicable, that also includes this obligation of the employee.
The fact that, despite the absence of such a written arrangement in the above case, the employee was still obliged to pay a relatively small part of the costs of the surrender of the lease contract was mainly due to the fact that the employer had recently taken over the lease contract from the previous employer.