Scoring using The Bradford Factor

If you have worked in HR, then chances are at some point you have encountered or heard of the Bradford Factor. The score is based on the data collected from modern time and attendance systems which provide an accurate overview of an employee’s short term and long absences in order to identify patterns and trends.

How implementing it can save your business time and money

The Bradford Factor is worked out using the Bradford Formula. The Bradford Formula is based on the frequency and length of an employee’s absence during a defined period.

The formula is:  S² x D = B

  • S is the total number of separate absences by an individual
  • D is the total number of days of absence of that individual
  • B is the Bradford Factor score
  • The total number of separate absences by an individual
  • X
  • The total number of days of absence of that individual
  • =
  • The Bradford Factor score
Computime Bradford effect

The higher an employees score, the more of a negative impact on the organisation.

For example, if an employee is absent once in 52 weeks for five days, their score is worked out this way:

(SxS)x(D)= B

(1×1)x5= 5

If another employee is absent twice in 52 weeks for two and a half days at a time, then their score would be:

(2×2)x5= 20

Finally, if an employee is absent five times in 52 weeks for one day at a time, their score would be the following:

(5×5)x5 = 125

We can see that by using the Bradford Factor to calculate absences for the same period of absence (5 days),  the employee who has been absent from work more frequently generates a higher score.


Generally speaking, the higher the  score the worse your absences from work appear to the HR department. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Bradford Factor scores, each workplace will set their own thresholds and individual allowances for absentees which means that the score threshold is entirely dependant on the company an employee works for.

Some companies have a threshold as low as 100 and others much higher. A good standard practice is to pair the Bradford Factor scores in with time and attendance software as well as train HR personnel to interpret the score but not rely entirely on it.