Search topics

Bradford Factor

What is Bradford Factor?

The Bradford Factor, commonly known as Bradford Formula, is used in the Human Resource Management (HRM) to measure workforce absenteeism. According to this theory, the frequent, recurring, unplanned, and short-term absence at the workplace is more destructive to the work output as compared to the long leaves.

What is the history behind the term Bradford Factor?

According to the Financial Times (FT), the terminology has been connected, by the HR Folklore, to a pharmaceutical company whose manager attended a seminar at Bradford Management School.

However, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) connected such a concept with some research undertaken at the Bradford University School of Management, however, the Bradford University has not confirmed such a term origination.

Is the Bradford factor important for HR experts to know?

Yes, HR experts need to know this concept. HR department dealing with daily doing at the workplace admin and HR management role is that the notion of the Bradford Factor or Bradford Formula means the regular and recurrent absences at the workplace results in more performance disruption as compared to the long term one-time leaves from the office.

How does the Bradford factor work?

The Bradford formula works as mentioned below:

B = S² × D


What Is A ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ Bradford Score?

The good Bradford score means it should be lesser in the count. And the higher scores on the Bradford factor mean employees’ days of absence rate is affecting the organization negatively.

Now, let us see what the score ranges are and what do they mean:

Score range
0 - 50 
Average employee’s typical score
50 - 100 
An employee needs to be monitored
100 - 200
Action required
200 – 500Something is serious and needs to be looked into
500+A probable ground for dismissal or needs an in-depth interview

How to evaluate Bradford Scores in HR?

In HR, the Bradford scores should be evaluated as per mentioned below:

ScoreProbable Action
100Review the absences
200Issuance of the verbal or written warnings
400In-depth meetings or follow-up interviews
700Potential dismissal

Pros and Cons of the Bradford  Factor?

What are the advantages of Bradford Score?

Bradford factor advantages are,

What are the disadvantages of Bradford Score?

Bradford factor disadvantages are,

What are the limitations of the Bradford score?

The limitations of the Bradford score are it fails to consider circumstances rather it treats the employee absence as the data set and calculation method. The legitimate causes behind the absences may be due to chronic diseases caused during the job performance that was not present at the time of medical tests held at the joining time of the employee.

The spells of absence might be due to:

What is the alternative for the Bradford factor?

Different HR Software is the alternative for the Bradford factor administration, provided that matches the business needs. In this modern era, HR professionals use business intelligence to keep track of employees' absenteeism and act accordingly to protect the workplace and performance in the organization.


The Bradford factor calculation is a tool for absence management, where the HR department becomes aware of the absence rate that is the total number of days an employee remained absent during a set period the Bradford factor tells us that unplanned absences are more disruptive to organizational performance than planned long leaves.  

HR professionals need that the workers remain on duty most of the time, to make a profitable business, hence it is a right concern to take disciplinary action in the form of written warnings against employees' absences.

Reflect upon the trigger points. An organization's competitive employees need to be retained to avoid HR turnover costs, hence owners shall treat workers as humans (and not as the data) considering the circumstances, not only caring for their physical but emotional health. However, the provision of medical leaves on sick days, emergency leaves, and paid time-off may minimize unplanned absence.

This way organization may create a conducive environment where employees work willingly and feel the workplace as their second home.