What is the Bradford Factor?
The Bradford Factor is a formula used in human resource management as a means of measuring worker absenteeism. It follows the theory that frequent short unplanned absences are more disruptive than longer absences.
It is originated from Bradford University School of Management in the early 1980’s.
Many businesses across the world use the Bradford Factor including Government organisations. It provides a concrete foundation to allow managers to monitor individual staff members absence records by having an assessment score. The process does not record any specific factors affecting absence of the employee such as disability, or a recurring illness over a period of weeks. However, the tool provides an effective strategy to identify patterns of an employee’s absence. The majority of companies utilise the Bradford Factor score as a reliable guide to put comprehensive support in place, and the factor score provides many monitoring procedures for the workforce. In addition, the Bradford Factor can also support an effective staff absence management strategy.
Modern Time and Attendance systems combine with the Bradford Factor in order to identify trends and patterns for the short term and long term absence of employee’s.
How is it Calculated?
The Bradford factor is calculated using the follwing Formula:
S2 x D = B
- S is the total number of separate absences by an individual
- D is the total number of days of absence by that individual
- B is the Bradford Factor score
The score allows HR managers & on-site managers to monitor absenteeism during any set period. Many companies identify a running year as an acceptable period.
Is it fair to use the Bradford Factor?
The Bradford Factor is a mathematical trigger which means that every employee gets the same treatment from the HR department and personal opinions and relationships can be put aside. This has the advantage of being impartial, is so the HR manager cannot be accused of taking action against an employee because they dislike them, or they like someone. Because of the number-based assessment, this factor eliminates all special treatment, as each individual gets treated the same.
However, as a stand-alone concept of absentee management, it is fundamentally flawed, which means the process is giving every employee the same treatment. Some employees could have a genuine medical condition which will influence and impact the number of times the employee takes off sick more than the average work colleague.
This can be adjusted with manual trigger points depending on the employee’s health conditions.