What is the Bradford Factor?
The Bradford Factor is a simple way of allowing you to look at what it means to the business when a team member has unplanned absences such as sickness, appointments, emergency situations, childcare etc. The Bradford Factor calculation generates a score based on a person’s absence patterns which can then be reported to the relevant manager when necessary. As it tracks absence over any period of time - typically a year - it provides a reliable tool that can help with the early identification of problematic or recurring absenteeism.
The way to calculate the Bradford Factor score is to use the Bradford Factor formula, which is: S² x D = B
- S = the total number of separate absences by an employee
- D = the total number of absent days of that employee
- B = is the Bradford Factor score.
The higher an employee’s score, the more concerns a company should have over their levels of absenteeism. Once over a certain level, this will provide a trigger point. How it's dealt with should be decided by the company, and could take the form of an interview, a warning or a more detailed assessment of an individual.
Implementing the Bradford Factor at your company allows everyone to be measured in the same way, meaning that personal differences of opinion can't cloud judgement and the scores are very factual. It can provide a fair way to measure levels of absenteeism in your company.
With that said, it shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone tool. One major disadvantage of the Bradford Factor Index is that it does not take into account that not all employees/individuals are the same. If someone genuinely has an illness or condition which means that they require time off for appointments or other medical reasons, then their score will undoubtedly be higher despite them having a legitimate reason for their absence.
As with most tools used to measure an employee’s absence and attendance, making the Bradford Factor calculations fair also requires a manual approach to truly assess and delve deeper for each individual, rather than just solely looking at their score.