Cocoon’s leave management system vs. the single-rep model

How a SaaS approach to leave management compares with the increasingly outdated “white-glove” model.

Nikki Henderson
Nikki Henderson
Cocoon’s leave management system vs. the single-rep model

Customers sometimes tell us they feel hesitant leaving something as personal and emotional as leave “up to software.” But the reality is that even if you’re paying for a rep-based “white glove” service, that doesn’t mean your employees are getting the attention and service you might think. Even if they are, it’s undeniable that software can automate compliance monitoring, reconcile eligibility requirements, and tackle payroll calculations and do so quickly with less room for error.

Here’s a side by side comparison of what to expect with Cocoon’s leave management software versus the traditional leave provider experience. 

For employees taking leave:

Planning and announcing your leave

Cocoon’s leave management software Rep-based service providers
Log into Cocoon anytime to privately plan your leave and timeline in 10 minutes, only sharing with HR when you’re ready.. Employees notify the HR team. Then have an intake call with their provider’s rep to begin to explore options..

Talking to your HR team to request your leave is nerve-wracking enough, especially if you don’t understand the company policies, state laws, and general options for your leave. From there, dialing up a stranger who will become your new leave of absence manager on a 1-800 line, to begin to piece together your leave sounds unthinkable. Pre-planning in Cocoon means you can start seeing timelines and options before you tell anyone and go into that conversation with confidence.

“Employees love that there’s automation and interactive forms in the app so they can just plug stuff in and start planning. But they also feel that Cocoon gives the right amount of hand-holding when you need it.” — Melanie Wagner, Senior Manager of People Operations at Hatch

Determining your eligibility 

Cocoon’s leave management software Rep-based service providers
Proprietary rules algorithm codifies federal/state laws with your policies and auto-sends compliance notices.. A rep intakes 20+ data points to manually determine eligibility and sends relevant notices at their disposal..

When it comes to leave compliance, you don’t want to be at the mercy of how knowledgeable a rep happens to be about federal and state leave laws, and then hope that they can reconcile them with your company’s policies perfectly on schedule. This can lead to noncompliance or miscommunications — both with serious potential legal and/or economic impacts. Knowing they’re baked in with Cocoon helps you start off compliant and stay there — and if anything falls out of place, you’ll get notified immediately.

“It's just not feasible to have a person on site to manage the number of leaves, then beyond that, someone who understands every state's differing compliance regulations. We’re grateful for partners like Cocoon thinking about the employee experience whether it’s their first or second time." — Payroll Team Lead, Cocoon customer

Filing state and disability claims

Cocoon’s leave management software Rep-based service providers
Cocoon files private disability claims and guides you through getting medical certifications. For state claims, you file your own with the help of Cocoon’s step-by-step guide and form-filling automation tools. At best, reps file disability claims, contacting the employee's physician for health data. For state claims, employees give a rep power of attorney to file on their behalf using their PII. At worst, an employee simply navigates all claims on their own..

Without Cocoon, filing claims either means passing power of attorney and intimate details to your leave rep or simply going it alone. Either way, nobody takes you through the process in real time nor shows you what’s next. Cocoon lights your path, walking you through the claim filing process with education and automation to save time and reduce the risk of errors causing endless follow-ups, while keeping you in the know about what’s due, when, and how to submit it.

"Cocoon puts a leave taker in the driver's seat — making a process that can often feel ambiguous and tedious more streamlined and simplistic!" — People Team Lead, Cocoon customer

Understanding leave pay

Cocoon’s leave management software Rep-based service providers
Automated and visualized with Pay Trackers. An easy-to-read graph shows when you were/will be paid, how much, and from which sources. Done manually. Employees receive paychecks in the mail when they happen to come.

Knowing when, how much, and from where you’re getting paid is often one of the most stressful parts of leave — not only because you might not know how you’re going to pay bills, but also because you’re likely wrapped up in whatever prompted the leave in the first place. Being in the hospital or at home with a new baby is not the appropriate time to call someone wondering where your latest paycheck is. Cocoon wants you to know before, during, and after you get paid so you can plan accordingly.

“While I was on leave with a new baby the joke was, “Choose two: eat, sleep, or shower,” and I was instead building spreadsheets to show what I was owed.” ‍— New parent before using Cocoon

Getting support along the way

Cocoon’s leave management software “White glove” service providers
CLMS-certified Support team available by phone and email when you need assistance before, during, and even after returning from leave. Employees are randomly assigned one representative they must contact to access info or update their plan, or there’s one rep handling all the employees at one company.

The “one-on-one” experience you think you’re getting with a service rep isn’t for emotional support, it’s likely about logistics that would be automated for you already in Cocoon. We see that software taking care of the logistically sticky parts of leave management tends to resolve a lot of the issues that prompt you to need additional support in the first place. If not, we’re still only an email or phone call away with a team of specialized experts. The experiences of our Support team go on to constantly improve our product and education — something that doesn’t get codified at a rep-based company.

“I just wanted to take a minute to say how thrilled I’ve been with Cocoon. I’ve talked to so many other parents navigating the parental leave process right now and they’ve all had such a difficult time, but you’ve made it absolutely seamless." — Customer feedback survey response

For employers and People teams:

Reporting capabilities

Cocoon’s leave management software Rep-based service providers
Admin dashboard gives details into all leaves, employee pay, claim statuses, and trends reporting, Aon average, saving companies $10,000 per leave-taker. Limited visibility into employee leave, pay, or claims information. Admins rely on reps to provide info.

Information that gets cobbled together manually and relies on you requesting it is prone to inaccuracies and delays. With Cocoon’s Admin Dashboard data at hand, you can actually measure the ROI not just of Cocoon software, but of your leave program in general:  how many benefits were recovered, policy utilization metrics, average leave length, etc. — ultimately giving you an advantage in strategic planning, measuring company savings, and demonstrating the efficacy of your leave program.

“It was really helpful when we went through renewal to make the case for finance… to [say] ‘we’ve actually saved this much money that we would have had to pay in salary.’” — HR Admin at a 2,000-person software company.

Calculating payments for questions and compliance

Cocoon’s leave management software Rep-based service providers
Admins can use Pay Insights to see pay across pay periods, broken up by regular and leave pay, and deductions. Vendors send over pay files for all leave takers, leaving HR to manually separate employees out and calculate leave pay vs. benefit pay.

Leave-takers rightfully get quite stressed and confused about their pay situation while on leave — with lots of questions that People teams need to be able to answer quickly and correctly. You also need to understand how your policy overlaps with other legal obligations and statutory benefits to ensure compliance and for proper accounting of them. If you’re operating in multiple states, this only gets more complicated and crucial. With Pay Insights, you get a breakdown of all payments made or to be made to anyone on leave across several categories so you can answer questions, stay compliant, and forecast future leaves, without having to calculate it yourself.

It's time to enter the next generation of employee leave