The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) has told civil service departments that managers should not be informed about staff ‘Bradford factor’ scores, following discussions with Fórsa. DPER has also told departments that the factor should not form any part of discussions with staff.
The ‘Bradford factor’ is a mathematical formula that can be applied to sickness absences. It gives higher scores to staff with higher numbers of absences.
Fórsa general secretary Tom Geraghty said some Government departments had been quoting the ‘Bradford factor’ in meetings with staff about sick leave. “Upon further investigation, it emerged that these departments were acting on foot of a DPER circular, which referred to this measurement technique,” he said.
The issue was the subject of an emergency motion at the union’s national conference, and a subsequent discussion at its Civil Service Division executive committee.
“Noting that there had been no discussion at all with the union on the matter, the executive advised members not to co-operate with any meeting at which the Bradford factor was used,” said Tom.
Meanwhile, civil service unions have told management they are willing to engage in a wider review of absenteeism policy.