Sparrow: Managing Every Aspect of Employee Leave

Sparrow is a 2022 WorkplaceTech Accelerator (WTA) cohort member. The WTA is a premier program for all things future of work and is powered by SHRMLabs (SHRM’s innovation lab and venture capital arm). Our inaugural 8-week virtual accelerator program is currently underway and is designed to scale up early-stage, growth-driven startups dedicated to elevating HR and solving today’s most pressing workplace challenges. We asked each of the six cohort members to share their story in their own words.  

Sparrow is the first high-tech, high touch leave management solution to help employers to care for their people. Sparrow ensures compliance with local, state, and federal leave laws while delivering a stress-free experience for human resources, payroll, managers, and employees.

Harvard PhD turned leave specialist 

Leave management found me, an MIT engineer from rural Nebraska, when I was halfway through a Harvard PhD in Artificial Intelligence. In one six-month period, six of my close friends took leave from work – parental leaves, a caregiving leave, medical leaves. Each of my friends struggled with the process, the paperwork, and the timing. Ultimately, they made mistakes that caused them to be paid improperly and to spend a lot of extra hours with their Human Resources teams.

I started looking into how Human Resources teams manage leave, and I found that in many ways, managing leave is even more painful for HR than the employee. Managing leave compliance is time-consuming, inefficient, and error-prone. For a modern, global employer, it is only becoming more difficult to maintain compliance as in recent years, there are constantly new federal, state, and even county regulations related to leave.

Managing an employee leave in-house requires 10-20 hours of combined effort across Human Resources, Compliance, and Payroll. Even when a company works with a legacy outsourced leave management provider, the experience is frustrating and stressful for everyone: human resources, payroll, managers, and the employee taking leave.

High-tech, high touch leave management

Sparrow makes it easy for employers to care for their people – by managing the entire employee leave process from end-to-end. Like TurboTax, Sparrow automates the paperwork and federal, state, and local compliance. And we understand that each employee's leave is unique, so we provide dedicated support from our world-class in-house team of leave experts, saving our customers’ HR, payroll, and compliance teams 10-20 hours per leave.

Sparrow’s technology, like TurboTax for leave compliance, integrates with all HRIS (e.g. Workday, Ceridean) and ensures that notices are delivered and claims are filed for both HR and the employee. Because each employee leave is unique, Sparrow has paired its technology with a team of in-house leave experts, who work with HR teams to design effective, robust, and compliant leave policies, as well as manage the day-to-day of difficult leaves on your behalf.

A stress-free experience that’s good for business 

For employers, the financial ROI is virtually instant because Sparrow streamlines the leave process, contains costs, and ensures compliance. By partnering with Sparrow, our customers see financial impact in several areas:

  • Improved productivity - Sparrow saves HR, payroll, and legal teams 20+ hours of frustration for each leave.
  • Cost avoidance - Because Sparrow ensures compliance, it reduces the likelihood of FMLA litigation, which costs an average of $80K to defend.
  • Reduction of overpayments - By improving filing accuracy with Sparrow, employers are able to reduce overpayments normally caused by improper filing & administration.

For employees, Sparrow makes leave stress-free by handling all paperwork and compliance so employees can focus on the purpose of their leave — their health or family — with the support they need for a seamless return to work.

Built for the future of work

Many HR professionals recognize the stress of managing leave in-house or with a legacy solution. Sparrow was founded to alleviate the stress of leave management for HR and employees, alike, and that mission still drives the team today.

Sparrow has raised $20M in funding and touches hundreds of thousands of lives across the United States and Canada. This means that hundreds of thousands of people can take leave, knowing that it will be stress-free with the support of the Sparrow team.

The Sparrow team is grateful to partner with SHRM, so we can continue to iterate on the product to ensure it continues to meet the needs of People leaders across the globe.

Additional Ways to Learn More about Sparrow and SHRMLabs’ WorkplaceTech Accelerator:   

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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