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Bradford factor

(5 Posts)
OrmIrian Thu 23-Jul-09 12:47:07

Our company has just sent round letters telling us that this is being introduced as levels of sickness are putting the company sickness scheme under threat.

What surprised me was that they told us the score that would trigger a disciplinary interview. Doesn't that defeat the object? It seems to me that people will just regard that score in the same way that they regarded sick day allowances - ie think of them as just another form of holiday allowance hmm

Has anyone got experience of this and found it makes a difference?

whingeomatic Thu 23-Jul-09 13:06:57

I suppose it discourages the one-off sick days as the score is calculated on the number of separate incidences of sickness rather than just the total number of days (iirc?). Ours is calculated on a rolling 12mth period too, not calender year so perhaps most casual sickie throwers couldn't be bothered trying to keep tabs on it!

I got caught out a few years ago and hauled before my manager, as when dd1 started pre-school she caught everything going and then shared with me (nice!).

Being the concientious worker that I am I tried to take as little time off as possible so took one day off and then struggled in on the other days until I was better. This bumped my score above the acceptable threshold and I was given a warning.

Apparently if you are ill it is better to go the whole hog and have a full week off hmm

OrmIrian Thu 23-Jul-09 13:10:40


In our company there really is a problem in the factory and we have had production lines shut down from time to time. Lots of minor illnesses on Monday and Fridays strangely hmm.

But I can see it's going to cause lots of ill-feeling sad.

quietmum Thu 23-Jul-09 14:37:29

I didn't know what it is called, but my company counts the number of times we are off sick, not the length of sickness. So a half day is weighted the same as a full week, for example.

flowerybeanbag Thu 23-Jul-09 15:20:03

If there is a sickness absence problem, then introducing disciplinaries once certain triggers are met is not unusual as a deterrent.

Bradford factor means it's not specifically based on number of days off, but also incidences, so if there are a lot of mysterious headaches and tummy upsets on Mondays and Fridays which the company views as suspicious or unnecessary, it might well be the best method to deal with it.

If there are people who currently view a set number of days off each year as kind of extra holiday, the fact that the Bradford factor is based on incidences might make it harder for them to do that.

I'm personally not a fan of automatic trigger systems of any kind for sickness absence management because they usually don't allow for discretion and can also mean line managers abdicating any kind of responsibility for monitoring or dealing with problem absence unless and until the 'system' tells them to do something.

I prefer to monitoring absence closely and individually, make sick pay discretionary so that it can be withheld if necessary, instigate return to work interviews every single time someone is absent and take a view in each individual case whether disciplinary action is the best way to reduce unnecessary or excessive sickness absence.

However in lots of companies having that level of discretion just isn't practical, and where there is a problem with people taking the p^$&, introducing triggers for disciplinaries can make people think twice.

Presumably if the triggers are resulting in a disciplinary interview and the company is convinced at the interview that all the absence incurred was genuine and necessary, there won't be any kind of warning or sanction imposed anyway?

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