60 Second Guide

1 min read

... to the Bradford Factor

This is a tool devised by the Bradford University School of Management that is sometimes used by managers to highlight employees who have unacceptable levels of fragmented short-term absence. It can also be used to identify priorities for action and can then be used on an ongoing basis to manage attendance. The Bradford formula has the following equation: B = S2 x D B = the Bradford Factor score S = the total number of spells (instances) of absence of an individual over a set period D = the total number of days of absence of that individual over the same set period An employee who has five spells of absence (5x5x1 = 25) which each last one day will have a higher Bradford score than an employee who has one episode of absence lasting five days (1x1x5 = 5). The set period is typically set at a rolling one-year timeframe. Attendance records are measured against agreed trigger levels, where reaching such a level would prompt action to manage employee attendance. Note, however, that if the trigger score is unrealistically low, it is open to challenge. An employer should use it as part of an overall absence management assessment. Before taking steps to dismiss an employee on account of their attendance record, an employer should always consider how likely an employee is to return, the nature, length and effect of the illness, whether reasonable adjustments for disability apply, the impact that the absence has had on the company, rehabilitation/phased returns and alternative employment.