Bradford factor


Enter Absence Count (Number of occurrences) and Days Absent (Total Number of Absent Days) to calculate employee bradford factor.

The Bradford Factor

The Bradford Factor is also referred to as the Bradford Formula and the Bradford Index.

At the top right you will find the online Bradford Factor Calculator, which will work out the Bradford Factor for an employee, using the Bradford Formula. If you would like to add a Bradford Factor Calculator to your website, you can do so here: Bradford Factor Calculator for your website / article.

What is the Bradford Factor?

The Bradford Factor is a simple formula that allows companies to apply a relative weighting to employee unplanned absences (sickness, Doctors appointments, emergency childcare, etc). The Bradford Factor supports the principal that repeat absences have a greater operational impact than long term sick. (A weighting is the impact that an event will have on the overall running of the normal business. If you give something a larger weighting score, it has a bigger impact).

How Do I calculate the Bradford Factor?

The Bradford factor is calculated using the Bradford Formula S2 x D = B

  • S is the total number of separate absences by an individual
  • D is the total number of days of absence of that individual
  • B is the Bradford Factor score

The Bradford Factor allows managers to monitor absenteeism during any set period. Many companies identify a running year as an acceptible period.

How Do I use the Bradford Factor?

Originally developed at the Bradford University School of Management in the early 1980s, the Bradford Factor is used by numerous companies across the globe including Government organisations (UK Prison Service for example).  It provides a useful benchmark tool enabling managers to have an assessment score for an indivdual staff absence record.  The Bradford Factor does not take into account any specific factors such as disability, or a short term, but recurring illness causing sporadic absenteeism over a period of weeks, but is useful for the early identification of concerns, or as a tracking tool. Many companies utilise the factor score as a trigger guide to implement more comprehensive support and monitoring procedures for individuals. The Bradford Factor can support an effective staff absence management strategy, but is limited if used as a stand alone tool.

Bradford Factor Scales

The heat map below provides a visual overview of Bradford Factor scores and weightings. It is important to remember that the Bradford Factor index is only a guide. Employers staff absence policies should be carefully documented and communicated to staff. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that staff understand the Bradford Factor calculator and how it is applied.

The Bradford Factor Heat map below uses 3 scales:

Please note that figures given are for illustration purposes only and different companies will apply different thresholds. It is also important to remember that managers should be in constant communication with their staff, in order that they understand the issues and possible outcome of any prolonged or repeat absences.

Bradford Factor Calculation with Excel Example

The attached microsoft excel sheet contains a Bradford Factor Calculator and Bradford Factor Heatmap. The Bradford Factor excel example is free to download and share.

You can download an excel copy of the Bradford factor heatmap here

Bradford factor scale | Bradford Factor Heatmap

Additional Bradford Factor Resources

For further information on The Bradford Factor (Use, Implementation and Record Keeping), please review our Bradford Factor guides and management strategy information.