The Bradford Factor

Measuring short term absences that are often more disruptive than long term.

Bradford Factor image

What is the Bradford Factor?

The Bradford Factor is a formula that can be used to measure employee absenteeism. It measures the number of absence incidents and the duration of each incident to compute an absence score for each employee.

Evidence from industry suggests; that the higher the score, the more disruption the employee’s absence is causing an organisation.

Companies measure employee absence in a number of ways, including and excluding various types of absence. As a result, one company may have a higher absence rate than another, only because it includes more non-sickness variables when measuring.

Many companies fail to distinguish clearly between short-term and long-term absences and this can have profound implication for attendance management.

How is the score calculated?

The Bradford Factor Score is calculated using the following formula:  S x S x D where:

  • S is the number of spells of absence of an individual over a given period; and
  • D is the total number of days of absence of the individual over the same period..

So for employees with 10 days’ absence in one year, differently distributed, the score can vary enormously:

  • 1 absence of 10 days is 10 points (1 x 1 x 10)
  • 5 absences of two days each is 250 points (5 x 5 x 10)
  • 10 days of one day each is 1000 points (10 x 10 x 10)

Whereas using the traditional percentage method, all would result in the same percentage. Using this formula, Managers can see at a glance, the effects of employee absence on the organisation as a whole as well as a comparison between departments

Using the Bradford Factor

Most time and attendance systems simply track absenteeism however Softworks goes deeper by focusing on the frequency of absences, problem areas and/or employees which in turn enable organisations to take proactive measures to improve attendance.

For many organisations, the cost and disruption of persistent, short spells of absence are greater than for occasional, longer periods of absence.

To address this problem, Softworks has developed a formula based on the Bradford factor, which measures the Number of Incidences and the Duration of each incidence to compute an absence score for each employee.

For more download our Guide to the Bradford Factor.

Learn More About The Bradford Factor

The Bradford Factor is a formula that can be used to measure employee absenteeism and is particularly useful for measuring short term absences, which are often considered more disruptive than long term.


From start-ups to global operations our customers span multiple industry sectors and business sizes. We can provide you with cutting-edge Time and Attendance, Scheduling, HR and Absence Management Solutions.

Like to find out more?

We can help you reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase employee engagement. Get in touch today!

Customer Solutions Support