The Bradford Factor is a much-disputed HR mathematical calculation used to judge employee absenteeism without the human factor, but is the Bradford Factor effective?
While it is true that unauthorised absences can have an adverse effect on your business, taking action against staff that are constantly calling in sick without being unfair is difficult. Staff members with pre-existing medical conditions, disability or sudden illness are likely to phone in sick for shorter periods of time over a longer time frame.
The Bradford Factor would rate the staff member that takes three sick days over three weeks higher than a staff member who takes four days off ill at the same time. It is also very ineffective at handling part-timers, shift workers or other employees without regular work patterns. It requires tweaking to function when dealing with these types of irregular employment. The modern time and attendance system is utilising the Bradford Factor equation to create specific and bespoke profiles for an employee’s time and attendance record. The Bradford Factor allows managers and HR managers to identify current trends and monitor absences in the short term and long term.
The Bradford Factor also treats everyone the same and equally. While this may sound good on paper, it doesn’t take into account individual circumstances. This makes it ineffective as a stand-alone tool for managing employee absenteeism.
It can be used as part of an active employee absentee management strategy, providing a base from which to work with individual employees and find violations of absentee policies. The mathematical equation will discover anomalies allowing your HR team to identify and inquire about staff sick days and unauthorised absences.
So is the Bradford Factor effective? No, not alone. It is, however, very effective at identifying a potential problem in the workforce for HR to investigate.