Unlocking the Benefits of BRADFORD Scoring System: A Guide for HR



The BRADFORD score is a tool used by HR departments to measure employee absence levels. It was created in the late 1970s by Dr. Bradford, a professor at the University of Bradford. The concept behind the BRADFORD score is that it takes into account not just the number of absences an employee has but also the length of each absence and how frequent they occur. This article will explain the BRADFORD scoring system in more detail and why it is an essential aspect of HR.

What is the BRADFORD Scoring System?

The BRADFORD scoring system uses a method to quantify employee absenteeism using a formula. This score is calculated by multiplying the number of spells of absence by the total number of days absent. The system can be applied to individuals, groups, or departments. The higher the score, the more disruptive the absence has been to the organization, and therefore the greater the impact on productivity.

One significant advantage of the BRADFORD score is that it provides a clear picture of an employee’s absence history over time. It highlights patterns of behavior and identifies individuals who may need additional support or intervention to reduce their absenteeism levels. This information can then be used to develop targeted strategies to help prevent future absences.

Why is the BRADFORD Scoring System Important for HR?

In the UK, the average cost of absence per employee is approximately £570 per year, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. For larger organizations, this figure can run into millions of pounds. Therefore, it is vital that HR departments have a reliable way of monitoring absence levels and identifying any patterns or issues.

The BRADFORD scoring system provides HR with a method of measuring and monitoring absence levels effectively. It allows HR teams to identify high-risk employees and take appropriate action before, incurring further costs to the company. Ultimately, the system can help to reduce employee absenteeism, resulting in increased productivity, improved morale, and reduced costs.

How is the BRADFORD Score Calculated?

The BRADFORD score is calculated by multiplying the number of spells of absence by the total number of days absent. The “spell” refers to each period of absence, while the “absence” is the number of working days missed.

For example, an employee who has had two spells of absence over six months, one for five days and the other for seven days, would have a BRADFORD score of 12 ((2×5)+(2×7)).

It is important to note that the BRADFORD score should always be used in conjunction with other absence data. It is not a standalone tool and should be used in combination with information such as the reason for absence, the duration of absence, and the employee’s overall attendance record.


The BRADFORD scoring system is a vital tool for HR departments to manage employee absenteeism effectively. By measuring absence levels accurately and identifying patterns of behavior, HR can develop targeted strategies to address any issues and reduce costs to the organization. The system is simple to use, and its effectiveness lies in its ability to identify high-risk individuals and encourage positive behaviors through targeted interventions. Ultimately, the BRADFORD score can help organizations to improve their productivity, reduce costs, and create a more positive workplace culture.

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