The Bradford factor is a great way of measuring the level of absenteeism in your workplace.
The annual sickness report in breatheHR provides a Bradford Factor score for each employee. This is calculated using the following formula:
E² x D = Bradford Factor
E represents the number of instances of absence
D represents the total number of days absent in a 52 week period
For example, if an employee was absent from work on 3 separate occasions with a total of 4 days off the calculation would look like this:
3 x 3 x 4 = 36
The employee’s Bradford Factor would therefore be 36.
An employee who takes frequent short spells of sick days will have a higher Bradford Factor compared with an employee who takes infrequent but longer periods of time off sick.
For example, if an employee has a total of 7 days off sick in a year, their Bradford Factor score will be very different depending on the number of instances of absence:
- One instance of sick: 1(E) x 1(E) x 7(D) = 7 (Bradford Factor score)
- Two instances of sick: 2(E) x 2(E) x 7(D) = 28 (Bradford Factor score)
- Three instances of sick: 3(E) x 3(E) x 7(D) = 63 (Bradford Factor Score)
The Bradford Factor calculation does not take account of the reason for the absence. Therefore, it is wise to use the Bradford factor as an initial trigger for any short and frequent absence but it should never be used in isolation.