Bradford Factor

Employee Dashboard Control
A screengrab of the Focus Employee dashboard, showing metrics including a Bradford Factor score.

Bradford Factor

What is it?

The Bradford Factor is a business metric that asserts that several short periods of absence are more disruptive than one long period, given the same number of total days absent. A higher Bradford Factor score is less desirable than a low one.

P x P x D = Bradford Factor

Where:

P is the number of periods of absence in a timeframe and 

D is the total number of days of absence in the timeframe. 

Examples

Employee A has had two separate periods of absence, totalling seven days.

2 x 2 x 7 = 28

Employee B has four separate periods of absence, totalling seven days.

4 x 4 x 7 = 112

The higher number is less desirable because four separate unexpected absences are more disruptive to the organisation than two would be - despite the same number of total absence days.

How Focus Calculates Bradford Factor

What is Absence?

Although you may have created a range of Absence Reasons and Absence Types that you use to track absences, the Bradford Factor score only tracks Absences of the following System Level Absence Types:

  • Sick Paid - Full Day
  • Sick Unpaid - Full Day
  • Sick Paid Half Day
  • Sick Unpaid Full Day

Absence Reasons all belong to a single Absence Type, and it is those specific Absence Types that are used to calculate the Bradford Factor score. 

What are Absence Periods?

For an accurate Bradford Factor, it is essential that we can define what is and isn’t a single period of absence. 

For example, an employee who usually works Monday to Friday, but then is off on Friday and again on the following Monday, would be off for one absence period. The period would not be broken into two periods by the weekend, as those days are not the employee’s normal expected working days.

Defining an Absence Period can be a complex task in its own right. Focus uses a lot of factors to determine whether a period continues or is broken.

  • If the employee makes a clocking between two days of sickness, this will break the period.
  • If the employee is Scheduled to work between two days of sickness, but there has been no sickness absence booked for the day, this will break the period. This is true of Work Schedules and Rota shifts.
  • If a Rota employee had no shifts on the Rota between two sick days, the period will not break.
  • If a Work Schedule Employee is not scheduled to work between two sick days, the period will not break.
  • If the employee has any Absences of a Type not mentioned above, this will break the period. This can lead to a misleading Bradford Factor result if, for example, an employee chooses to convert part of a sickness absence into annual leave. In this case we recommend converting either the start or the end of the absence period to annual leave.