Measuring absence, as fairly as possible

23 Oct
by Suzie Business Owner & Senior HRBP

Absence from work. It can be a nightmare for companies small and large, who depend on their workforce to get the job done.

When it comes to assessing absences, I really like the Bradford Factor. It enables companies to fairly measure absence and helps to capture those one off days here and there, which are proven to cause the most disruption to business.

However, like all HR process and policy, it falls over at human error.

We all know that some of our most dedicated people fall sick and sometimes it’s a one off, but sometimes it can become a regular thing. Can you let them off because their contribution is higher than others, but others consistently show up?

Consistency Vs. Contribution

“Emma is a great worker, really puts her passion into her work, when she is there….”

This was an actual comment in a recent meeting. The employee in question was dismissed, even though the business thought she had potential. Why? Because you have to show up to perform.

But what about others who have a blip on their record? A time in their life which isn’t going too well? What do you do then?

Follow the process

My advice is to go through the process – i.e. an informal meeting or capability meeting (whatever your policy says to do) and then consider the mitigations before taking further action.

I wouldn’t advise not going to the meeting in the first place, as that would smack of unfairness to employees who are put through the absence management process. Instead, follow the process, take note of everyone’s viewpoints and situation, then make a balanced decision.

Whether you rely on the Bradford Factor or intuition, or both, following the correct process is always the best option.

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