LeavePlanner and the Bradford Factor
LeavePlanner automatically calculates the Bradford Factor. By implementing LeavePlanner to streamline your absence management LeavePlanner will know exactly when employees are away from work, if it should count to their Bradford Factor and calculate their Bradford Factor on an ongoing basis.
LeavePlanner produces an irrefutable record that is calculated in the same way for every employee. It can be accessed in an instant and is updated in real time. LeavePlanner allows you to choose whether or not to show the Bradford Factor to your staff or managers.
Implementing an automatic system to calculate and verify the Bradford Factor is the easiest and most accurate way to utilise this formula. The time intensive calculation of the formula, in addition to the high potential for error and abuse, means that any successful application of the Bradford Factor requires an integrated and automatic absence management system.
Sickness and unplanned absence costs businesses in the UK an average of £659 per employee, per year in direct salary costs alone (CIPD figures). The potential impact of absence on your organisation is in reality far more costly than sick pay alone.
With an absence rate that exceeded the national average, this organisation had been researching policies to tackle absenteeism in their business. They implemented the Bradford Factor as a way of measuring absence frequency and impact across the business.
However, the initial implementation of the Bradford Factor was ineffectual as it is complicated and time consuming to calculate manually or on spreadsheets. Without an accurate and quick method for calculating everyone’s score the policy was undermined and no inroads into absenteeism were made.
Despite this the organisation was still confident that the Bradford Factor could be an effective policy when implemented correctly and so they required a system which:
a. Allowed for more accurate & quick recording of absence in the first place.
Any absence policy is only as good as the data feeding it and with LeavePlanner this organisation has implemented a straightforward, easy to use and accurate method for recording absence. By enabling managers to log absence in seconds, immediately after the absence is reported, this organisation have been able to take control of their absence reporting and provide a trustworthy base of information through which the Bradford Factor is calculated.
b. Accurately calculates the Bradford Factor
The Bradford Factor entails various rules which make it’s calculation a tricky process. As the formula is a multiplier, getting one figure wrong in the calculation can return drastically different scores. This organisation was having to take factors such as the following into consideration, which was making the calculation of the Bradford Factor not only time consuming but also error prone:
- What type of absence was it?
- Were the sick days consecutive?
- How many instances of sickness has the staff member had in the last rolling 12 months?
- How many days has the person had off in the last rolling 12 months?
- Did the sick period fall over a non-working day, for example a bank holiday?
By entering absence directly into the LeavePlanner system, which automatically calculates the Bradford Factor, this organisation have turned a complicated and time consuming manual process into a quick and accurate automated process.
All of this is done without any manual calculation giving this organisation a confidence in their Bradford Factor policy that they did not have before.
c. Allowed for constant & real time monitoring of the Bradford Factor.
This organisation had previously been calculating the Bradford Factor as a month-end task. This was taking an administrator over 2 full days of manipulating pivot tables in excel, chasing up clarification from management and staff and checking calculations manually for consistency.
Now LeavePlanner has been deployed it is a simple case of logging into the system and generating a report with the necessary information. This report is then exported to a pre-built template which quickly determines whether any staff had exceeded their Bradford Factor limits. Potentially more important than this, however, has been their ability to generate warnings to managers whose staff may be about to exceed a policy limit. This allows for managers to consult with staff and identify problems proactively.
As this information is always up to date this organisation is now able to monitor the Bradford Factor far more frequently and are now able to use the policy as a pro-active method to reduce absenteeism rather than simply a method for punishing absence after the fact.
d. Enabled clear communication of the Bradford Factor to management & staff.
Getting the most out of any Bradford Factor policy requires communicating the process and idea behind the system to employees and subsequently allowing them to see their score. LeavePlanner allows administrators of the system to choose whether or not to show the Bradford Factor score to employees, managers or HR only. This organisation chose to show employees their score whilst at the same time LeavePlanner was able to ensure this was private to them and their manager only.
e. Enabled the Bradford Factor to be utilised as a policy
The time consuming nature of manually calculating the Bradford Factor had begun to look less cost-effective with each month as more data was collected.
Furthermore, errors in the data and in the calculation of the system had seen a constant stream of challenges from employees who’s scores had not been correctly calculated. As errors were made confidence in the system was quickly eroded which provided a very shaky foundation upon which to build a sensitive absence policy.
Through implementing LeavePlanner this organisation has managed to save time and money and begin to cut down on their excessive rates of absence. Furthermore, through clear communication of the policy and scores and the accurate recording, employees have a better understanding of the policies and have a greater sense of control over their score.
As employees see their score rising, and can be sure it is correct, and that there may be consequences to this, they are less likely to take unnecessary absence. Reducing absenteeism after all is the goal of implementing a Bradford Factor policy.