Calculate the Bradford factor value for an employee over a given period (Usually 12 months)

Click here to see a brief explanation of the Bradford Factor technique

The Bradford factor technique allows the generation of a score for each employee based on their absence record. This approach is particularly useful as it highlights the number of occasions of absence (frequency), which is the most difficult for organisations to deal with. below you can see how the calculation is completed, alongside an illustration of the information it can provide.

Formula for the Bradford factor score:

N.B. Verde HR will automatically calculate the Bradford Factor score for you

F2 X D = Bradford factor points score

F = frequency of absence over a 12-month period

D = total number of days of absence over a 12-month period


Three members of staff have all had 20 days of absence during the last year, but their patterns of absence have been very different. Applying the Bradford factor produces some very interesting results:

Person A was absent once for 20 days

Bradford factor score = 20 (12  X 20)

Person B was absent for 2 days on 10 separate occasions

Bradford factor score = 2,000 (102  X 20)

Person C was absent for one day on 20 different occasions

Bradford factor score = 8,000 (202 X20)

You can see that the difference between the scores highlights the valuable information that this calculation offers. While this offers an interesting insight, it is important that it is not viewed in isolation. Frequent intermittent short-term absences may require management interventions.

Many organisations use the Bradford factor calculation to help keep track of the impact of employee’s sickness. Trigger points like those outlined below are often be used as guideline values to potentially trigger discussions or warnings linked the organisation’s disciplinary procedures. However, each employee must be considered on a case by case basis. Mitigating factors may be used when considering whether to take the action suggested in the table. N.B. if there is an underlying medical cause for the frequent intermittent absences, then then using the absence procedures outlined below is unlikely to be the most appropriate route.

  • At 80 points consider advising that disciplinary action may be taken if 100 points reached.
  • At 100 points consider stage 1 warning.
  • At 250 points consider stage 2  warning.
  • At 400 points consider stage 3 final written warning.
  • At 800 points consider dismissal