Bradford Factor calculator – how to work out absence score

Last checked and updated on 17 March 2022

If you’re an employer or HR manager in the UK, Bradford absence score data can be a useful tool for monitoring employee absences. Use our free Bradford Factor calculator to work out the absence score for your business, or for a particular department or member of staff.

And in the accompanying guide, we’ll explain what Bradford absence score is, and how to use it to understand your organisation’s absenteeism rates.

What is the Bradford Factor?

The Bradford absence score (also known as the Bradford Factor) is a measure of how often employees in a workplace take time off sick. It was created by academics at University of Bradford and is named after the city of Bradford in the United Kingdom, where it was first developed.

The score is based on data from the Labour Force Survey, which is conducted by the Office for National Statistics in the UK. It calculates the number of days each employee has taken off sick as a percentage of total working days. This data is then used to create a score for each workplace, with a higher score indicating a higher level of absenteeism.

Why is the Bradford Factor important?

The Bradford absence score is an important tool for UK employers and HR managers. It can be used to identify workplaces where absenteeism is a problem, and to help develop strategies to reduce it.

The score can also be used to benchmark how well an organisation is performing relative to others, and to compare the performance of different departments or locations.

This score is generally considered more useful than the simpler Lost Time Rate.

How can the score be used?

The Bradford absence score can be used in a number of ways:

  • To identify workplaces where absenteeism is a problem and develop strategies to reduce it
  • To benchmark how well an organisation is performing relative to others
  • To compare the performance of different departments or locations

What are the limitations?

The Bradford absence score has a number of limitations:

  • It only uses data from the Labour Force Survey, which may not be representative of all workplaces
  • It does not take into account factors such as the age or gender of employees, or whether they are full-time or part-time
  • It cannot be used to identify the cause of absenteeism
  • The score is usually only updated once a year, so it may not reflect recent changes in absenteeism rates

How can the Bradford absence score be used to improve workplace productivity?

The Bradford absence score can be used to identify workplaces where absenteeism is a problem. Once these workplaces have been identified, strategies can be developed to reduce absenteeism and improve workplace productivity.

Some of the strategies that can be used include:

  • Training managers in how to deal with absences and encourage employees to return to work sooner
  • Offering flexible working arrangements, such as part-time or job-sharing, to help employees manage their workloads
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles among employees, such as providing counselling or health screenings

What is the mathematical formula?

The mathematical formula for the Bradford absence score (Bradford Factor) is:

B = I x I x T

Where:

B = Bradford score

I = Total number of individual absence periods over a set period of time

T = Total days of absence over the same amount of time

Bradford absence score example

For example, if an organisation has had 100 individual absence periods in the last year, and the total number of days absent is 500, then the Bradford score would be:

B = 100 x 100 x 500

B = 5,000,000

Therefore, the organisation would have a score of 5,000,000.

Alternatively, if an organisation has had 500 individual absence periods in the last year, and the total number of days absent is 500, then the Bradford score would be:

B = 500 x 500 x 500

B = 125,000,000

Therefore, the organisation would have a score of 125,000,000.

In both of the above examples, the total number of absence days is the same (500). However in the first example, the average duration of an absence period is 5 days (500 ÷ 100) and in the second example, the average duration of absence period is just 1 day (500 ÷ 500).

This highlights that many short absences give a far higher score than a smaller number of longer absences.

How can I calculate the Bradford absence score for my workplace?

To calculate the Bradford absence score for your workplace, you will need to know the total number of individual absence periods and the total number of days of absence over a set period of time. You can then use the mathematical formula to calculate the score.

Are there alternatives to the Bradford absence score?

There are a number of alternatives to the Bradford absence score, including:

  • The Haines Index
  • The sickness absence rate
  • The lost time incidence rate
  • The standardised incidence rate

FAQ

What is the Bradford absence score (Bradford Factor)?

The Bradford absence score is a measure of workplace absenteeism. It is calculated using data from the Labour Force Survey, and measures the number of individual absence periods and the total number of days absent over a set period of time.

What is the formula to calculate the Bradford absence score?

B = I x I x T

Where: B = Bradford score; I = Total number of individual absence periods over a set period of time; T = Total days of absence over the same amount of time.

How can I use the Bradford absence score?

The Bradford absence score can be used to identify workplaces where absenteeism is a problem. Once these workplaces have been identified, strategies can be developed to reduce absenteeism and improve workplace productivity.

What are the alternatives to the Bradford absence score?

There are a number of alternatives to the Bradford absence score, including the Haines Index, sickness absence rate, lost time incidence rate and standardised incidence rate.

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. We recommend that you always speak to a qualified professional to get advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.