What is the Bradford Factor?

bradford factor

What does Bradford Factor mean? At oneHR, this is a question we are often asked by organisations looking to better manage absence within their business.

The Bradford Factor is a human resource management tool used to measure employee absenteeism and its impact on an organisation. It provides a way to quantify and analyse the frequency and duration of employee absences. The concept is named after the Bradford University School of Management in the United Kingdom, where it was first developed.

How is the Bradford Factor calculated?

The Bradford Factor calculates a score for each employee based on their absence records. The formula is as follows:

B = (S^2) x D


B = Bradford Factor score

S = The total number of separate instances of absence within a specific period (such as a year)

D = The total number of days absent within the same period

How is this value used?

The purpose of the Bradford Factor is to emphasise the negative impact of frequent short-term absences on an organisation. It assigns higher scores to employees who take numerous unplanned absences, even if the individual absences are of short duration. The idea is that these frequent absences can disrupt workflow, productivity, and team dynamics.

Organisations use the Bradford Factor to identify patterns of absence and manage attendance issues. It helps them distinguish between occasional long-term absences (which might be due to serious illness or personal circumstances) and repeated short-term absences (which might indicate a lack of commitment or engagement). By analysing the Bradford Factor scores, employers can identify individuals or teams that require intervention or additional support.

It’s important to note that while the Bradford Factor can be a useful tool, it should not be the sole basis for taking disciplinary action against an employee. Other factors, such as individual circumstances and medical conditions, should also be considered. Its use should be in conjunction with fair and consistent absence management policies and practices.

For support with setting up policies, contact our team of HR consultants who will be able to assist in getting these policies in place and embedded within your business.

How can oneHR help you manage the Bradford Factor, absence and absenteeism?

oneHR assists you in managing the Bradford Factor by automating and streamlining the process of calculating and tracking the scores. Here’s how we help you stay on top of short-term absences within your business.

Absence Management: oneHR allows you to capture, manage and review all absence data in one easy-to-navigate calendar. With the ability to log and update ongoing instances of absence, you can stay on top of who’s away, when and for what reason.

Bradford Factor Calculation: oneHR will automatically calculate the Bradford Factor scores based on the absence data captured. This score will be visible on the overview page on each individual employee’s profile, making it quick and easy to review these scores at any time.

Reporting and Analytics: oneHR’s Data Extracts tool can generate reports and insights into the Bradford Factor’s impact on your business. It can also provide insights into overall absence trends, high-risk areas, and the impact of absenteeism on your organisation. These reports can assist in decision-making and developing strategies to manage absenteeism effectively.

Policies and procedures: oneHR provides your business with unlimited document storage. This allows you to upload your absence policies and procedures. This provides transparency within your organisation for employees and provides guidance for managers dealing with absence within their teams.

To learn more about how oneHR can help you utilise the Bradford Factor and/or get on top of your absence, contact our team today.

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