SAP HR: Maintain user access during transition from employee to consultant

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HR services are provided by a third party, who use SAP HR. SAP HR is the master system, which feeds information into a lot of other systems, such as Active Directory.

A nightly job synchronises data between SAP HR and Active Directory. When a user quits, their account is given an expiration date matching their last day at work. Normally, this works excellently, and ensures that employees do not retain access to systems beyond their last day at work, as per the company policy.

The problem occurs when a user transitions from employee to consultant. As things stand today, there is a transition period from their last day until their final paycheck and vacation pay is calculated and paid, which can be as long as two months.

The period begins as the user record in SAP HR is set to reflect that the user has left the company. Until the calculation is completed, they cannot set it to reflect that the user still needs to access their account. In the intervening period, IT support gets daily requests to reopen the account from the affected user, as their account is closed overnight.

It seems to me that this is something that SAP HR should be able to account for out of the box, but I do not know, and so I turn to you to answer the following questions:

Can SAP HR account for this out of the box?
If so, how can this be set up?
If not, do you have any ideas as to how it can be achieved?
Please keep in mind that I am not an SAP professional (though I do have some experience with SAP), I work in the IT department supporting the company, and am pushing them to push for a change in configuration with their provider of HR and payroll systems. There are a total of three companies in play here; my company, the company we support, and the company providing the HR and payroll system.

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