SA 8000

SA 8000
Social Accountability International (SAI) is a non-governmental, multi-stakeholder organization whose mission is to advance the human rights of workers by promoting decent work conditions, labor rights, and corporate social responsibility through voluntary standards.

SAI established one of the world’s preeminent social standards— SA8000— a recognized benchmark among the voluntary codes and standards initiatives that companies and factories use to measure their performance. SA8000 is grounded on the principles of core ILO conventions, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

SAI partners with trade unions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multi-stakeholder initiatives, organic, fair trade, and environmental organizations, government agencies, and anti-corruption groups to carry out its mission.

About SA8000
The SA8000 workplace standard is the central document of our work at SAI. This standard is the benchmark against which companies and factories measure their performance. Those seeking to comply with SA8000 have adopted policies and procedures that protect the basic human rights of workers.

There are a series of documents available to support auditors and implementers of the SA8000 Standard; these are: the SA8000 Guidance Document ; The SA8000:2008 Drafters' Notes ; and the SA8000 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) . The FAQs document, first released in January 2010, will be updated regularly.

SA8000 Elements
The SA8000 Standard is an auditable certification standard based on international workplace norms of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Download the SA8000:2008 here! A summary of the Standard elements follows:

Child Labor
No workers under the age of 15; minimum lowered to 14 for countries operating under the ILO Convention 138 developing-country exception; remediation of any child found to be working

Forced Labor
No forced labor, including prison or debt bondage labor; no lodging of deposits or identity papers by employers or outside recruiters

Health and Safety
Provide a safe and healthy work environment; take steps to prevent injuries; regular health and safety worker training; system to detect threats to health and safety; access to bathrooms and potable water

Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining
Respect the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; where law prohibits these freedoms, facilitate parallel means of association and bargaining

No discrimination based on race, caste, origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union or political affiliation, or age; no sexual harassment

No corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse

Working Hours
Comply with the applicable law but, in any event, no more than 48 hours per week with at least one day off for every seven day period; voluntary overtime paid at a premium rate and not to exceed 12 hours per week on a regular basis; overtime may be mandatory if part of a collective bargaining agreement

Wages paid for a standard work week must meet the legal and industry standards and be sufficient to meet the basic need of workers and their families; no disciplinary deductions

Management Systems
Facilities seeking to gain and maintain certification must go beyond simple compliance to integrate the standard into their management systems and practices.

Why Consider SA 8000
In order to sensitize large number of people in the beginning and develop a general consensus, several declarations, protocols and other forms of intent documents on Human Rights issues and Environmental protection helped improve conditions relating to the workplace and its consequences on the communities around the world. Enlightened companies soon wanted to go beyond the awareness on these sensitivities and wanted to act to continuously improve their social and environmental
performance. It’s here that Standards like SA 8000 go a long way to establish systems and measures to review results – thus converting mission into performance.

FAQs about SA8000
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“SA 8000 is a comprehensive standard. It has helped in improving upon some gaps within our own systems. It has been particularly useful when it comes to streamlining and aligning contractors to our value systems which we have adhered to for a long time. And all this is becoming more and more relevant and useful with the increasing scale and complexity of out-sourcing across the supply chains.”
Kishor Chaukar, Chairman,
Tata Council for Community Initiatives

“For over 100 years Tata has worked with internal and external stakeholders to sustainably carry out its vision. Social Accountability International and the SA8000 standard provide systematic implementation and reporting tools on human rights and workplace quality, as well as management systems, to support these efforts. We look forward to learning together and sharing knowledge with others seeking these
Ms. Eileen Kaufman
Executive Director, Social Accountability International, USA

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