Overview on SA 8000 Certification
SA 8000 stands for Social Accountability 8000 standard which is the first international certification on social responsibility. It is fundamental that helps the organizations to create, maintain, and apply such practices that are internationally accepted.The motive of this standard is constituted through international human rights law.
SA 8000 certification is given to those authorized organizations that incorporate and maintain it to the management system. It applies a management system perspective to social accomplishment and prioritizes continual improvement and sets out the structures and procedures that companies must adhere to ensure that compliance with the standard is continuously reviewed.
It focuses on the issues related to Child labor, forced labor, health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, compensation, and management systems.
Applicability of SA 8000 Certification
SA 8000 Certification can be applied to any company, of any size, worldwide. SA 8000 Certification will help the organizationin developing and improving social accountability across the operations.SA 8000 standard implies that an organization must consider the social impact of the working in addition to the internal criteria of their working.
What are the Benefits of the SA 8000 standards?
The implementation of SA 8000 offers benefits to the workers, business, consumers, and investors-
Worker and Trade union
Consumers and Investors
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What are the Elements to be considered in the SA 8000 Standard?
The company’s looking upto abide by SA8000 standards shall imply those policies and procedures that protect the basic human rights of workers. Below are the nine elements in the SA8000 Standard that are required to be considered-
- Child Labor
As per SA 8000 standard, an audit is conducted to find out that any standard related to child labor is violated. If all the local and national laws are followed that means proper compliance has been made.
Child labor is still a major issue in Asia. Under this standard, child labor is when any work is performed by a child younger than 15 years oldunless the minimum age for work is higher by local law. SA 8000 standard sets the criteria for the employment of young workers, who are younger than 18yrs but older than 15 years. Apart from the age restrictions, the standard requires the following elements. Those are as follows:-
• If the young workers are subject to compulsory education laws, they can resume the work only after school hours.
• They do not work more than 8 hours per day or work during night hours; and
• Child workers and young workers are not allowed to work in unsafe working conditions.
- Forced and Compulsory Labor
SA 8000 prohibits suppliers from hiring forced or compulsory labor, as well as retaining the personal documents, salary, or benefits from workers. Holding workers’ documents could make it difficult for workers to leave at will.
SA8000 requires that workers have the right to leave the work area at the end of each workday and the right to terminate their employment with reasonable notice. Forced labor is an important aspect of social compliance that has been banned through some specific legislature outside of discretionary standards.
- Health and safety
It is very much required to provide a healthy and safe working environment for the workers under the SA8000 standard. Beyond the SA8000 non-compliance, Health and safety violations can have serious consequences. Under the SA8000 standard, it is required to consider the below-mentioned points.
• Reduce or eliminate the causes of all safety hazards in the working environment, wherever possible.
• Evaluation of health risks for new, expectant, and lactating mothers.
• Impart effective health and safety training to the workers.
• Provide staff with appropriate protective equipment at your own expense; and
- Freedom of Association & Right to Collective Bargaining
The freedom of association and collective bargaining requirement in SA 8000 allows workers the right to classify their trade unions and to bargain communally with their employer. It also protects workers belonging to trade unions from differentiation, persecution, or intimidation.
Compliance with the freedom of association and collective bargaining can vary based on local or national laws. Under the social audit checklist, the auditor can inspect for less-formalized collective bargaining systems aside from trade unions.
The SA8000 standard protects the workers from differentiation based on race, origin, caste, gender, religion, political association, and many other factors. The supplier should have an anti-discrimination policy that is followed in the recruitment, employment, and termination of employees.
Under SA8000, suppliers cannot:
• Hinder worker’s right to exercise certain applications related to their identity, such as the right to prayer.
• Allow indecent, threatening, deceitful, or sexually coercive behavior in the workplace.
- Disciplinary practices
The SA8000 standard requires that suppliers treat its worker with the utmost respect. This is a criterion that disallows inhumane treatment, corporal punishment, mental, or physical coercion or verbal abuse of employees.
An auditor might interview the workers to evaluate SA8000 compliance with requisites related to disciplinary practices. These interviews can provide insight into conditions at the factory to supplement documentation and management assessments.
- Working Hours
SA 8000 wants suppliers to allow at least one day off following six consecutive days of work and the normal working week should not exceed 48 hours. The standard sets the criteria for overtime that should be voluntary and cannot exceed 12 hours per week. But the standard’s requirement can also grant suppliers more leniency regarding working hours.
An auditor will check compliance with the working hour’s requirements by reviewing documents, such as punch time records, timesheets, as well as interviewing workers. Moreover, the excessive working hours more common during seasonal work, when suppliers face issues to meet tight deadlines for several orders at a time. For that prepare for seasonal work well ahead of schedule to provide the supplier proper time to complete the orders by complying with overtime requirements.
SA8000 standard will also investigate whether the organization is paying a living wage to workers. Wages must cover the basic needs of workers and allow for voluntary spending.
The standard directs that the organization cannot retain or deduct wages for corrective reasons unless authorized by national law or a collective bargaining agreement. The supplier must also pay to the workers for overtime at a premium rate defined by national law or collective bargaining agreement. By complying with SA8000 standard and paying their workers a fair wage helps the organization in avoiding disputes.
- Management System
The management system must take several ancillary steps regarding preventative measures, policies, and documentation for SA8000 compliance.
Some of the key points outlined in SA8000 are as follows
• A written policy statement regarding SA 8000 shall be prepared by the Senior management to inform the workers about their intention to comply with SA8000
• The supplier must appropriately keep harmony in the implementation of the standard.
• The organization must set up a Social Performance Team to supervise the implementation of the SA8000 standard.
• To create a written grievance procedure that should be confidential.
• Imparting training to staff to implement the SA8000 standard.
• A social audit checklist should include verifying the documents related to each of the elements throughout the audit to evaluate the management system.
What is the Procedure for Obtaining the SA 8000 Certification?
Corpbiz has a team of highly qualified professionals and trainers having an industrial experience which helps in implementing and obtaining SA 8000 certification. Our approach is highly professional, meets deadlinethat results in ease of implementation, and adds value to the business processes of the client’s organization.
We also offer SA 8000 training, consultation, gap analysis, documentation, internal audits, certification audit through the best of the certification bodies to get the best out of the SA 8000 management system.
What services does Corpbiz provides to its client?
Frequently Asked Questions
There are two ways to implement SA 8000 Standard in the companies-
- Certification to SA 8000
- Involvement in the Corporate Involvement Program.
Companies that emphasize selling goods or both production and selling can opt for the SA8000 Corporate Involvement Program. CIP comprises of a two-level program that helps companies inidentifying, evaluating, and implementingthe standard and report the same to the public.
- CIP Level One -It evaluate SA8000 as an ethical sourcing tool through pilot audits
- CIP Level Two-Execute the SA8000 gradually in some or all of the supply chain through
Further, communicate the execution progress to stakeholders through verified public reporting.
- Social accountability 8000 certificates.
- Worldwide responsible apparel production.
- Business social compliance initiative.
- SEDEX Certification.
- No child labor or forced labor
- No discrimination
- Freedom of assembly and collective bargaining
- Guaranteed remuneration
- Improved working environment
- Working hours.
- Proper management system.