Punished for being sick? – The Bradford Factor

Punished for being sick?

Q. What is the Bradford Factor?

It is a formula that many companies (including B.T.) are using to manage what they see as excessive sick absences. The way some managers are using this crude form of ready reckoner is causing some of our members real problems in their working lives. Branch reps have noticed an increase in the number of times they have been asked to attend Initial Formal warning reviews because of the blinkered way the process is being applied.

The Bradford Factor is designed to discourage short term sick absences or “Duvet days” as they are known by using the following equation:

No of Spells of absence x No of Spells x Total No of days

For example:

· five absences of one day each: 5 x 5 x 5 = 125

· two absences of five days each: 2 x 2 x 10 = 40

B.T. has currently set their trigger point at 100 over a rolling year.

Ideally being called in for a review meeting with your manager should come as no surprise, because upon your return to work after sickness you should have a return to work interview; this is to ascertain whether you are fully fit or need any adjustments for you to be able to do your job properly.

If your level of sick absence is giving cause for concern you will be asked to a separate informal discussion where any underlying health conditions will be highlighted and whether you need extra help such as Physiotherapy, counseling or an O.H.S. assessment.

You will probably also be warned that any further absences may attract a formal warning. This will be confirmed by the sending of an email.

If this applies to you, contact your local rep or branch office as soon as possible.