Validity Period for SAP HR Enterprise and Employee Structure

I've seen this mentioned a few times, but having written this up, I thought some of you might find it usefull to have a more comprehensive description os this new feature, which I personally - as someone working a a few multi-country set-ups - belief is really cause for serious celebrations. Thank you Customer Connection Program!
If your organisation has been using SAP HCM for, say, 10 or 20 years, you'll know this problem all too well, particularly if your organisation is spread over a large number of countries:
The list of personnel (sub)areas and employee (sub)groups gets longer and longer and there is no easy way of making sure users don't pick obsolete objects, because none of them comes with time dependency or a validity period.
This has now changed with SAP note 1883014. SAP offers now the option to use validity periods for the 4 organisational objects mentioned above. This validity period acts as a constraint for what can be captured in personnel actions and infotypes 0001, 1008 and 1013, and cleans up the list when you hit "F4".
Once the required support package has been applied, you can easily activate the new feature in table T77S0, entry ADMIN - DELIM:
  • As with most entries in T77S0, you'll get a warning message saying this is an entry in the SAP namespace. Don't worry: it is meant to be changed by the customer and SAP doesn't plan to overwrite it.
  • No need to worry about not being able to use any org objects any more once you activate this feature. Existing org objects won't have any entry in the validity period tables yet, but, by default, a validity from 01/01/1800 to 31/12/9999 is assumed.
The first change you'll notice after the activation is that the objects feature a validity period in entry helps now:
So, let's assume we want to create a new personnel subarea "Cardiff" valid only from 01/01/2014. You create it by copying an existing one and renaming it as you would normally do. Then you find the configuration for validity periods in the IMG via: Enterprise Structure > Assignment > Human Resources > Validity Period for Organisational Assignments and add a new entry for Cardiff:
If we try to change the current record for an active employee starting at 01/07/2013, we see the same result as above, because the new subarea isn't valid yet:
However, if we create a new record in infotype 0001 starting after 01/01/2014, we find Cardiff in the list of options:
The same logic applies to personnel areas, employee groups and employee subgroups. We consider this a very helpful improvement to increase efficiency, avoid user frustration and improve data quality in SAP HCM. We definitely recommend implementing it, so you can get rid of old entries from all four tables in day-to-day business. Particularly in large global organisations, the lack of such a validity period has always caused problems in the long run.

There are a few points to be considered in the business process:
  • This is not a full time dependency feature. These are only validity periods, which are checked against in the most important screens. The objects can only be made valid or unvalid, but they can't change their names or properties over time. E.g., you can't change the name of personnel subarea 0002 from "Edinburgh" to "Scotland" from, say, 01/01/2015. If you change the name, the new name will apply retro-actively for the full validity period of the object.
  • When you create a new organisational assignment in infotype 0001, the last record always needs to extend all the way to 31/12/9999. So, you may have to create a record including employee groups or personnel subareas, which are valid at the start of the record, but not at the end. The system will allow this, but produces a warning message, so you know you'll have to change the org assignment later:

  • You can also run a consistency check with program RP_PAD_CHECK_ORG_ASSIGN to show where organisational re-assignments are required due to validity periods ending:
  • You would usually not want to adjust infotype 0001 data for employees who have left the organisation already. Over time, many leavers will have personnel (sub)areas and employee (sub)groups outside their respective validity areas in the infotype 0001 record of the inactive period and that's usually no problem. Therefore, the check against the validity period is not performed for leavers.
Some technical notes:
  • SAP note 1883014 can't be applied with the note assistant: it's got to come via HR support package SAPK-60467INSAPHRRXX
  • It is recommended to apply SAP notes 1882986, 1881595 and 1882972 together with the main correction. The first two notes are included in the same support package anyway, but 1882972 may have to be applied separately to fix a documentation error
  • To eliminate errors in employee groups and subroups in transaction PA40 (personnel actions), SAP note 1949191 must be applied. It is not included in the same support package.

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