I work at a place that uses the Bradford score, yesterday I hurt myself at work and I had 3h left to finish and my manager saw how much pain I was, could barely walk, said I should go home but it would affect my Bradford score, is he allowed to do that? Or does each company have different rules?

I research about Bradford but it just talks about absence, would this be considered absence?


  • 3
    Please add a country tag. This is so illegal where I live, I cannot even start to count how many laws this breaks. However, if you live in a country with little to no worker protection, it might be perfectly legal.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 12, 2022 at 13:33
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    Does this answer your question? Is the company wrong for punishing me from my Bradford score?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 12, 2022 at 13:33
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    @JoeStrazzere You can count any imaginary score you like, but as soon as there is consequences from the score, you eenter legal territory. And where I live, it isn't an option to send a worker home from work after a workplace injury... you send them to a doctor (actually, you are responsible for them to reach a doctor safely if they are in too much pain) and you certainly don't get to count a workplace injury against them in any way. They will visit a doctor, get a doctors note and you are absolutely not allowed to discriminate in way shape or form against people with a doctors note.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 12, 2022 at 14:33
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    @JoeStrazzere I'm not entirely sure it's that clear cut. If certified sickness enters into the score, it would be illegal. It's illegal to discriminate based upon it and any kind of "score" is by definition used to discriminate peeople. If the score would only be used for not showing up without an authorative/certified reason, then it is probably perfectly legal. By the way, I never claimed the Bradford score is illegal by itself. I said "this" which means the whole context. An imaginary number on a accountants sheet is never illegal, it's always about the context.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 13, 2022 at 6:34
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    The Bradford score is just a calculation based on how much and often you're off sick. You were off sick. The million dollar question is how your company behaves with the score. If they're a good employer and there is a pattern of people hurting themselves ,they could use it decide if they need new procedures. Then measure if they work... if they're not so nice they use it as a stick.
    – Dustybin80
    Mar 14, 2022 at 12:32

3 Answers 3


The Bradford Score counts how much you were absent from your job because of illness, plus it makes a (in my opinion very misguided) attempt to rate the absence.

In so far as it counts your absence due to illness, quite obviously going home because you could barely walk is an absence due to illness, because that's what it is. It's totally justified to go home, but of course it counts as an absence.

In a civilised country, nobody would hold it against you. But of course it can and should be counted. Let's say your manager is asked by his manager "why is XYZ not done?" then your manager must be able to say "unfortunately Joao, who was supposed to do the work, had an accident and was not able to work for a week". That's much better for you as if he said "unfortunately Joao, who was supposed to do the work, did none of it".

Absence is when you are not there at work. Good reasons for absence are: Holidays, paid or not paid. Illness. Jury duty (in most countries). Your mom died and you are on her funeral.

Bad reasons are: Getting so drunk on the weekend that you can't work on Monday. Your mom died for the fifth time within a year and you went to her funeral five times. Yours is a good reason.

  • 1
    "Jury duty" doesn't exist in most countries, so it wouldn't be considered a good reason for absence in most places.
    – Erik
    Mar 14, 2022 at 15:05
  • It exists in the USA, and in the UK I got a printed summary of absences every year at some company, and apparently I was allowed to be absent for jury duty for 999 days a year :-)
    – gnasher729
    Mar 15, 2022 at 15:27

yesterday I hurt myself at work and i had 3h left to finish and my manager saw how much pain i was, could barely walk, said i should go home

The question is, does your getting hurt at work mean something other than just an impact on your Bradford score? If you are hurt enough to not do your job, then maybe you were hurt enough to go to a doctor. That may mean that the company has some responsibility for any impact on your pay or medical costs.

Yes every absence for "medical" reasons is an absence that is counted. I worked for a company in the United States back in the 1980's that used a similar calculation. Vacation didn't count against you. But sick leave did. One reason is that vacation days were planned in advance, while some or all of sick leave wasn't.

Also incidents had to be counted carefully. If you fell at home, then went to the doctor, then a few days later after the swelling went down had surgery, but then had 10 times you had to miss time for physical therapy during your recovery; That was one incident.

The Bradford score is not something to be used in a vacuum. Trying to get employees to avoid a lot of little absences is the point of the Bradford score. But forcing them to never go home when sick or injured can be the result.

When I worked for that company It just meant that everybody found a way to manipulate it, and management used it to reduce the performance review score of those they wanted to not give a big raise to.


This score is inherently designed to screw with you for taking sick days. In effect it encourages people to burn themselves out coming in to work when not feeling well, while not punishing for longer absences (What would be vacations).

If they're making a lot of noise about this score, think about why - it's a way to manipulate you. Oh, you're hurt, you need to go home? Okay... but it'll affect your score... you sure you don't want to stick it out?

It's silly. I wouldn't entertain a company pulling that stunt. I don't even think it's effective... It encourages time theft / unproductive time spent working as a trade for someone taking time off.

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    The absurd way the Bradford score counts encourages you to stay home until there is no chance that you have to leave again. Say you have a bad cold on Monday and are unable to work. You might feel better on Tuesday, but there's the risk that you'lll have to take Thursday off again. With the Bradford score, it's better to say home for four days. Actually, 1 day + 5 days is better than 1 day + 1 day + 1 day, so take the whole week off.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 14, 2022 at 11:51

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