What is Bradford Factor and how to use Bradford formula to calculate absenteeism

The Bradford Factor is a technical term from Human Resources Management to work out absenteeism of the workers. Learn what is Bradford Factor, how it works and how to use Bradford formula to calculate the absenteeism disrupting your company.

The Bradford Factor is a technical term of Human Resource management that helps the HR managers to work out the absence rates of the employees of a company as well as to alleviate absenteeism. Also known as the Bradford Formula, the term had derived its nomenclature from a research carried out by the Bradford University School of Management in the 1980s. What the study proved, which is also the basic concept of Bradford Factor, is that short and sudden absences of the employees now and then are more disruptive for a company or a business than block absences of longer durations, like a leave due to illness.

What is the Bradford Factor?

As has already been stated above, the Bradford Factor is a formula employed in calculating a custom score for the employees' absences in a year which in turn determines the amount of disruption caused by those absences to the company. The lower is the Bradford score of a particular staff, the less disruption has his absence caused to your business, and vice versa. The definition of Bradford Factor can be described as a factor equal to the sum of the square of spells of absences multiplied by the total days of absence. The use of Bradford Formula or Bradford scores helps identify staffs with serious absenteeism requiring further investigation. Keeping a Bradford score log book should be a basic and primary step of managing the attendance process of the employees, discourage too much of absenteeism and compare between the overall performances of different departments, branches or offices of a company.

How is Bradford Formula calculated?

The Bradford Score, as we have mentioned, is equal to the sum of the square of spells of absences multiplied by the total days of absence. In figures, we can put it down like this:

B = D X S2

  • B = Bradford Factor Score
  • S = Spells of absence in last 365 days
  • D = Total number of days absent in last 365 days.

Let us analyse this formula with a detailed example. Let us presume there are two employees in a company, Mr. A and Mrs. B, both of them being absent in the last 365 days for a considerable period. As the company owner or the manager, you are thinking of levying a fine or penalty but are not sure how to judge who has disrupted your business more. Let us find this out by learning how to calculate Bradford Formula in the following section.

How to use Bradford formula to calculate absenteeism

Here are the records of absence for these two employees in a given year. From that we will work out a Bradford Factor calculation example.

Mr. A

3 days at a stretch in January for fever. 4 days at a stretch in March for a brief family tour. 4 days at a stretch in June for son's exam. 3 days at a stretch in December for fever. 10 casual leaves throughout the year, one day each.

Days of Absence (D): 24
Spells of Absence (S): 14
Bradford Score (B): D X S2, or 24 X 196, or 4704.

Mrs. B

25 days at a stretch in February for shoulder injury. 5 days at a stretch in October for cousin's wedding. 4 casual leaves throughout the year, one day each.

Days of Absence (D): 34
Spells of Absence (S): 6
Bradford Score (B): D X S2, or 34 X 36, or 1224.

As we can clearly see here, the repeated absences of Mr. A has affected the company much more than the block absences of Mrs. B, despite the fact that the total number of absent days is more for Mrs. B. So if a penalty has to be levied, we can now work out the ratio of it by calculating the ratio of the respective Bradford scores.

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