Calculating Bradford Factor, without the hassle.

It is widely believed that short and frequent absences are more disruptive to an organisation than a long period of sickness.

The Bradford Factor is a formula used by many HR Departments as an indicator of an employee’s absence to identify and potential absence issues so they can be addressed.

Rather than just looking at the days lost during the period, the Bradford Factor calculates a score based on both the frequency and the length of an employee’s absence during a period, usually over 52 weeks.

Calculating the Bradford Factor is done using the following formula:

B = S2 x D


B – Bradford Factor Score
S = Total number of absence instances for an employee during the period.
D = Total number of days absence during the period by the employee.

The higher the score, suggests a higher employee absence rate and therefore is potentially having a negative impact on the business.

The following examples explain how 10 days absence could be shown:

  • 1 instance of absence with a duration of ten days (1 × 1 × 10) = 10 points
  • 3 instances of absence; one of one, one of three and one of six days (3 × 3 × 10) = 90 points
  • 5 instances of absence; each of two days (5 × 5 × 10) = 250 points
  • 10 instances of absence; each of one day (10 × 10 × 10) = 1000 points
  • 1 instance of absence; with a duration of one year (1 × 1 × 240) = 240 points

Whilst there are many different tools and methods available for calculating the Bradford Factor, many of these require manually inputting the absence information.

With PeopleFirstHR, the data is already recorded within the system when an employee is recorded as absence. The Bradford Factor score is automatically calculated by the system and if required can be displayed on the employees dashboard. Users can also choose which absence types to include in in the calculation addition to Sickness, for example unauthorised leave.

Additionally triggers can be configured within PeopleFirstHR to assist HR with managing Bradford Factors based on different bands of scores.

The following table is an example of the kinds of triggers that can be used, however these can configured specific to each organisation within the system as required.


Bradford Factor Score Action
0 – 49  No Action
50 – 124 Verbal Warning
125 – 399 First written warning
400 – 649 Final Written warning
650 + Termination of Employment


Notifications can automatically send to the relevant Employee/Manager when a trigger has been exceeded notifying them of any potential action required based on the Trigger level

By saving time calculating and tracking Bradford Factor scores automatically within the system, HR have more time to work with their Managers and Employees to identify the reasons for the absence and find a solution to make for a better working environment.

To find out how PeopleFirstHR can help you manage absence and calculate Bradford factor contact us.


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