The Bradford Factor at Suffolk County Council

With the implementation of the new sickness absence policy and the Bradford Factor trigger Score for short term absence UNISON anticipates some members will soon face an ‘informal capability plan’ at their return to work meeting.

A Bradford Factor Score of 150 for sickness absence will trigger the informal capability process and an action plan for improved attendance. If, at the 26-week point, the employee has not met the % target for attendance (typically 95%), the formal capability process will start. The employee will be invited to a formal meeting, for which they can bring UNISON representation. The result of this meeting is likely to be a first written warning.

The Bradford Factor Score will not include absences over 90 days or absences relating to protected characteristics (disability, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment – where supported by medical evidence).

Despite what UNISON was originally told by the Council, staff will not be able to see their Bradford Factor Score while logged onto iTrent. UNISON has asked the Council for clarity on this point, and received the following response:

“Unfortunately iTrent doesn’t have any functionality to display an individual’s Bradford factor score through myHR, so individuals will not be able to see their score through the system.

However, managers will be encouraged to share this with staff at one to ones and return to work interviews. It is certainly not a decision we’ve made to keep this from the employee, really the key thing is that employees are aware of their score.”

This means you will not be able to see your* Bradford Factor Score nor will you be made aware if any sickness absence has added to and increased your Bradford Factor Score.

So, when you receive an email from iTrent confirming your sickness absence has been logged by your line manager, the system will not state if it has been excluded from the Bradford Factor Score or not (this is something your line manager must do manually).

UNISON has provided the guidance for our members to help you navigate the Bradford Factor.