Latest News

news icon

BT Attendance Triggers

23 April 2009

At the end of March 2009, BT launched a new system for Attendance Triggers utilising The Bradford Factor.

BT has not sought CWU agreement to the new system and there is no existing agreement around attendance triggers. There was some consultation and initially the union thought the new threshold would provide some benefits to members. However, the threshold changed between the initial consultation meeting and the eventual roll-out and although in some cases the trigger will be slightly better than before, there is not enough difference for us to welcome the new approach.

The triggers referred to are the signal to BT Human Resources that part of the process in the attendance procedure will be brought in to play, that may be an initial discussion, initial formal warning, etc. all of which can lead to being managed out for either extended or repeated absence which of course the company are focusing on.

The Bradford Factor is a fairly crude system that is harder on short term sporadic absence than on long term absence. It is based on an arithmetic calculation of:

No of Spells of absence (S) X No of Spells (S) X Total No of days (D).

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

When this was originally presented to the union, the threshold was to be 100, it is now understood the threshold for the trigger will be 80 points. BT has made a commitment that the threshold will be reviewed in three months time and that it will not go lower than 80.

From the examples above you can see that the existing trigger of two absences totalling 10 days or more is no longer in place and therefore should not hit the trigger. However, the original threshold, which would have raised the trigger in quite a number of cases, is not to be implemented. 80 points is still an improvement for some cases, but is not as widespread as 100 would have been.