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How do organisations use the Bradford Factor?

There are no set rules for using the Bradford Factor; it is down to each organisation to determine the ways in which it uses the score.

However, used effectively, the Bradford Factor can reduce absenteeism dramatically, serving as a deterrent and a method for tackling persistent absenteeism.

Absenteeism can be reduced by over 20%

Studies have shown that by educating staff about the Bradford Factor, and then showing them their score on a regular basis, absenteeism can be reduced by over 20%. This is largely down to staff understanding that taking the odd day off here and there will quickly multiply their Bradford Factor score. The Bradford Factor places a value on the absence which an employee can clearly see. Where the absence is not absolutely necessary, this can serve to deter absenteeism.

When this is used in conjunction with a points system the Bradford Factor can be effectively utilised to deter unnecessary absenteeism.

For example the Bradford Factor can be utilised by creating triggers whereby certain actions are taken when an employee’s Bradford score reaches a certain point. For example, the UK Prison Service has used the following triggers:

  • 51 points – verbal warning
  • 201 points – written warning
  • 401 points – final warning
  • 601 points – dismissal

Setting these triggers is entirely dependent on the organisation using the Bradford Factor. It is usually advisable to use the Bradford Factor as one of a number of absence policies. However, setting these triggers and making staff aware of them, in addition to taking action, resulted in the Prison Service reducing absenteeism by 18%.

By implementing mandatory procedures for tackling absenteeism across an organisation led by the Bradford Factor, an organisation can remove the potential for differences across teams and management and remove the difficulties and reluctance that line managers often face when having to discipline a close staff member.

The Bradford Factor can provide organisations with a two pronged method for tackling absence: proactively deterring absence in the first place and utilising a set procedure to identify and tackle persistent absenteeism.

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