Kate Brooks
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services
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Date Published:05 Apr 2017 Last Updated:28 Jul 2021

How to use Bradford factor in sickness absence monitoring

Employment Law Advice

Bradford factor is a formula used to calculate the amount of absences over a given period of time. Employers find it a very useful way of identifying when to start a sickness absence process or for scoring employees in a redundancy situation. The big advantage of Bradford factor is that it provides a trigger point that is fair and the same for all employees.

It is calculated as P2 x D where P is number of absences over a set period and D is the total number of days over the same period. It gives a higher weighting to repeated short term absences. For example if you had an employee who took 5 individual days spread over 3 weeks, they would get a higher score than someone who took 1 block of 6 days.

Different companies have different trigger points which are used to identify when to start a sickness absence procedure however this does not have to be the only indicator that a sickness absence procedure should start.

Employers must make sure that trigger points are fair.

Employers must still follow fair procedure before dismissal and should not rely solely on the Bradford score, Also it is important to remember to take into account disabilities and consider reasonable adjustments. For example if you have an employee who has a disability that means that they may have to have time off work, a reasonable adjustment may be to alter the individual’s trigger score.

My opinion is that while the Bradford factor is a useful tool, it should not be the employer’s only trigger for sickness absence procedures.

If you have any queries regarding the content of this blog, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01202 057754 or kate.brooks@ellisjones.co.uk.