The Bradford Factor is the most widely used method in identifying the extent of employee absence. Each time an employee is absent they affect their ‘score’, which is dependent on how many days they have been absent (in the last year) and on how many separate occasions has this happened. There is a big difference in disruption to your business of an employee being absent on one occasion for one ten day period, versus an employee who ‘threw a one-day sickie’ on ten separate occasions.

The Bradford Factor takes account of this and means you can focus on those individuals causing the greatest disruption.


Captureit is one of the few systems that includes the Bradford Factor as a standard feature. Devised by the Bradford University School of Management in the early 1980’s, the Bradford Factor is a proven method to measure and reduce absenteeism, thereby reducing business disruption and the negative impact on profitability this can have.

The Bradford Factor is a scoring system designed to help measure the impact of absenteeism on a business. The disruption caused by frequent, short term absences is often far greater than that caused by occasional long term absences, and the Bradford Factor is excellent at differentiating between the two. In doing so, it measures absenteeism over a rolling 365 days and provides a value for each employee known as their Bradford Score.

Because the Bradford Factor involves a rolling 365 days calculation, the score may well change from day-to-day, as old absences ‘drop off’ and new ones are added. This makes the calculation time-consuming when performed manually, meaning that many companies decide not to adopt it. However, this is not an issue for Captureit, which maintains accurate scores at all times.

The score takes into account the number of days lost due to absenteeism and the number of separate instances on which the employee has been absent. An ‘instance’ is defined as a continuous period of absence. For example, an employee sickness for three consecutive (working) days would count as one instance, as would a single absence for just one day.

To make sure employees are treated fairly, you are able to exclude selected absence types, such as compassionate leave, emergency days and the like.

An employee’s Bradford Score is calculated as follows:-

Instances2 x Days = Bradford Score

Using this calculation, the Bradford Factor makes spotting troublesome absenteeism easy. Have a look at the table above, which shows the absenteeism for four employees over the last 12 months. Employee A had just one instance of absence, which was for a continuous period of 10 (working) days. This would almost certainly be a genuine or planned absence.

The other employees each also had 10 days of absence, but with varying numbers of instances. The most worrying might well be Employee D, who was absent for just one day, but on 10 separate occasions. Such irregular, short absences are especially disruptive and are clearly in need of investigation.

As can be seen, using the Bradford Factor, Employee A would scores just 10 Bradford points (1 x 1 x 10), whereas Employee D scores a whopping 1,000 Bradford points (10 x 10 x 10).

In using the Bradford scoring method employers usually set score thresholds for taking disciplinary action in line with company policy.

Standard reports in Captureit provide instant scores for all employees. These reports can be colour coded to reflect various score thresholds that might represent different levels of disciplinary action. Using Captureit’s inbuilt email feature, you can be automatically notified when an employee returns from absence or sickness, so that a prompt follow-up can take place.

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