How do you calculate the Bradford Factor?

What is the Bradford Factor?

The Bradford Factor is a simple formula which can be used to rate how much of an impact the absence of an employee has had on an organisation. It applies a weighting to each employee based not only on how long the employee is absent but also on how many times the employee has been absent. The reason for this is to support the idea that repeated small absences cause a bigger disruption to an organisation than less frequent long term sickness. 

How do I calculate the Bradford Factor?

Calculating the Bradford Factor for an employee is a simple formula: 

BF = S x S x D


  • BF is the resulting Bradford Factor score
  • S is the number of separate absences by the employee in the last 12 months
  • D is the total number of days the employee has been absent in the last 12 months

What do the Bradford Factor Scores mean?

An employees Bradford Factor score should be used as an early warning system for potential concern with an employee’s absences. Generally speaking, the bigger the score, the greater the concern.

As an organisation, you should consider what specific scores you would consider to be a concern, and what action to take, but the following interpretation could be used as an example:

  • Below 25: No concern
  • 26 – 45: Some concern
  • 46 – 100: Proactive action required
  • 100 – 900: Consider disciplinary action
  • 901: Serious disciplinary action required

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