What is Bradford Factor?
Bradford Factor is used in HR as a means of measuring unauthorised worker absenteeism. The theory is that short, frequent, and unplanned absences are more disruptive than longer absences. Most companies tend to measure the impact of absenteeism over a rolling 12 month period but if you want an alternate duration (in months) then you can set this in the Natural HR system.
How is Bradford Factor calculated?
The Bradford Factor is calculated with the following formula:
B = S x S x D
B = Bradford Factor
S = Spells or number of occasions of unauthorised absence – in the formula this is squared (multiplied by itself)
D = Total number of days absent
Over the last 12 months, Employee A has been absent from work on 6 occasions due to sickness. These 6 occasions account for 8 days of absence in total over the 12 month period.
Employee A’s Bradford Factor score is 288 which is calculated by:
S x S x D = Bradford Factor
6 x 6 x 8 = 288
Over the last 12 months, Employee B has been absent from work on 2 occasions due to sickness. These 2 occasions account for 16 days of absence in total over the 12 month period.
Employee B’s Bradford Factor score is 64 which is calculated by:
S x S x D = Bradford Factor
2 x 2 x 16 = 64
It can be seen that although Employee A has taken less sickness absence in total over the same period, he/she has a higher Bradford Factor Score than Employee B due to there being more frequent spells of absence than with Employee B.
The reasoning behind this outcome is that frequent short-term absence is generally considered more problematic for organisations. Whereas absences of a longer-term could possibly be planned for in order to minimise disruption and impact on other employees.
Note on days and hours
When you have some employees who are using hours and others using days, there can be an inconsistency in Bradford Factor reporting - for example if employee A is absent for 3 instances totalling 5 days their score would be 45 but if another employee was absent for 3 instances totalling 40 hours their score would be 360 despite the absence, in essence, being the same.
To counter this, when an employee is set in hours we will convert their hours into days to ensure the consistency - in the above example we would take the 40 hours and divide it by the duration of a standard day for the employee (8 hours) hence the employee would then still show as 45 hence allowing you to have a consistent view.
If your employee using hours shows a figure which does not look like it is being converted into days then you need to ensure you set a value for standard working day for either the employee or the company.
How to view Bradford Factor
For Admin, HR and Manager level users, Bradford Factor can be displayed on the employee card. You will need to ensure that this has been enabled to display by going to
Admin > Company > Settings > Display Settings
In the employee module section, you will see Bradford Factor as an option. Please ensure this is selected and Submit the page for this to display.
To view this you will need to go to
People > Employees
Select your employee from the list, you will see the Bradford Factor on the employee card
Can Employees see their own Bradford Factor?
As a default, this will not be enabled in your account, however if you would like employees to be able to view their own Bradford factor, you will need to follow the below steps
Administration > Company > Settings > Display settings
In the Employee views section ( highlighted below), set 'Show my Bradford Factor score' to 'Yes'. Then click on 'Submit' to save the change.
For an employee to view their Bradford Factor they will need to go to
Self Service > My requests > Time off
On the employee time off page they will see their Bradford Factor score next to their total time off allowance donut.
Bradford factor triggers
It is possible to set up Bradford Factor triggers by going to
Administration > HR > Data Management > Triggers
This will enable you to set up automated notifications to managers to alert them when an employee crosses over a defined Bradford factor value threshold. For more information see our article on triggers.