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In this blog you will get an overview and understand concept of “New Employee Business Partner Model in SAP S/4HANA”


  • The Employee business partner is mandatory in SAP S/4HANA.

  • Customers, vendors, employees, and so on are represented as roles within the business partner..

  • The new employee business partner data model was introduced as of release SAP S/4HANA 2020 and an external worker i.e. vendors, customers can be represented in the new data model as of release SAP S/4HANA 2021.

  • The business user is linked to the Employee business partner.

  • Employees are maintained as business partners in SAP S/4HANA for non-HCM processes and employee records from SAP HCM or other HR solutions are synchronized to business partners in SAP S/4HANA.


Characteristics of the new Employee Business Partner Model

  • One business partner per natural person with role Employee is created.

  • Separate business partners are created for every employment, unlike in the old model.

  • Employment BP can have vendor or other roles assigned based on business requirement.

  • One-to-one relation exists between employment (personnel number) and business partner with role Employment.


Why a New Data Model?

  • Missing relationship between business partner in role Employee and business partner in role Vendor.

  • Missing ability to properly reflect concurrent and global employment of business partners in role Employee.

  • Missing flexibility regarding business partner handling in role Employee and thus missing data accuracy.

  • Missing functionality to specify a main personnel number for business partners in role Employee.


Availability of new data model

  • New employee business partner data model is available as of SAP S/4HANA 2020 FPS00 OP.

  • Down port is possible for 1809 SP06 and 1909 SP04 and higher releases (SAP Note 2954033).

  • Business function /SHCM/EE_BP_1 has to be switched on for the new data model to be active.

  • This business function is not switched on by default in the SAP S/4HANA system.

  • Activation of this business function is irreversible.

  • Move to the new business partner data model is recommended as future developments in this area will be considered only in the new model


Challenges in current Data Model

  • Employee role cannot be updated with a different contract.

  • No proper reflection of employment.

  • Private address data, bank details, and workplace related information cannot be updated properly Flexibility to change user assignment missing for customers coming from ERP.

  • Existing data model cannot adequately handle concurrent or multiple employments


New Employee Business Partner Data Model

  • Employment role is introduced in the new data model.

  • One-to-one relation exists between employment (personnel number) and BP with role Employment.

  • BP instance with role Employment has direct relationship to BP with role Employee.

  • New data model is more flexible.

  • Possible to ensure the lifecycle of an employee even after contract/employment changes.


Path to New Employee Business Partner Model

Below are the list of  4 starting points to move to new employee business partner model. For each starting point, the transition path is explained with details.


ERP HCM integration NOT active

ERP HCM integration is active



SAP S/4HANA greenfield


SAP S/4HANA upgrade from below 2020



  • New employee business partner data model has been introduced in SAP S/4HANA.

  • This new model helps resolve challenges faced in the old model.

  • New model comes with enhanced features and capabilities to meet emerging business requirements.

  • Move to the new business partner data model is recommended

  • Keep vendor business partners separate

  • Keep employee business partners separate to ensure full flexibility for employment scenarios in the new model in the future


Feel free to post your comments and I encourage you to post questions about the topic in our SAP Community using this link.

Stay Tuned!

Amit Dhar