SA 8000 is an auditable certification standard that motivates organizations to develop socially acceptable practices in a work place. This standard is based on concept of social accountability. It was established in 1997 by SAI (Social Accountability International) by an advisory board consisting of trade unions, NGOS, Civil Society Organizations and Companies. It can be applied to any company of any industry around the globe and is helpful tool for social accountability in the work place. SA 800 is based on the principles of international human rights norms as described in International Labor Organization Conventions, the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This standard is used as a basis for assessment for different social compliance programmes.
SA 8000 is composed of 9 requirements:
- Child labor is prohibited.
- Forced and compulsory labor is prohibited.
- Health and safety are to be taken care of by providing safe and healthy work place.
- Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining.
- Discrimination is prohibited.
- Disciplinary practices.
- Working hours should not exceed 48 hours not including overtime.
- Remuneration shall be sufficient.
Companies who want to independently verify their social records can apply for this certification. This standard helps Contractors to reveal that they are treating workers fairly and also helps to remove discrimination on the bases of caste, religion, birth, gender etc. It ensures that workers are getting fair deal. SA 8000 aims at achieving rights for workers under the global standards as well as looking at some of the acts organizations have done towards complying with the local labor laws and policies.
Benefits of SA 8000:
- Enhancement of company’s productivity.
- Educate workers about labor right.
- Motivate employees with improved morale.
- Improved performance and recruitment of employees.
- Increased reputation of the company and brand.
- Better supply chain and management performance.
- Promote management practices that will increase employee’s job satisfaction and increased productivity.
- Increased value for the products.