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SA 8000 - Social Accountability

An SA 8000 certificate lets customers know that you have implemented the necessary internal processes to ensure human rights for your employees.

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SA 8000

An international voluntary standard for auditable third-party certification, setting out the requirements to be met by organisations, including the establishment or improvement of workers’ rights, workplace conditions and an effective management system. 

The foundational elements of this Standard are based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, conventions of the ILO, international human rights norms and national labour laws.

It is applicable to companies of any size wanting to demonstrate to customers and other stakeholders that they care.  

An SA8000 certificate lets customers know that you have implemented the necessary internal processes to ensure human rights for your employees.  

The heart of the standard is the belief that all workplaces should be managed in such a manner that basic human rights are supported and that management is prepared to accept accountability for this.  

Social accountability Requirementss  

SA8000 provides transparent, measurable, verifiable standards for certifying the performance of companies in nine essential areas: 

  • Child labour: Prohibits child labour (under age 15 in most cases). Certified companies must also allocate funds for the education of children who might lose jobs as a result of this standard.
  • Forced or compulsory labour: Workers cannot be required to surrender their identity papers or pay "deposits" as a condition of employment.
  • Health and safety: Companies must meet basic standards for a safe and healthy working environment, including drinkable water, restroom facilities, applicable safety equipment, and necessary training.
  • Freedom of associationand right to collective bargaining: Protects the rights of workers to form and join trade unions and to bargain collectively, without fear of reprisals.
  • Discrimination: No discrimination on the basis of race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, or political affiliation.
  • Disciplinary practices: Forbids corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion and verbal abuse of workers.
  • Working hours: Provides for a maximum 48-hour work week, with a minimum one day off per week, and a cap of 12 hours overtime per week remunerated at a premium rate.
  • Remuneration: Wages paid must meet all minimum legal standards and provide sufficient income for basic needs, with at least some discretionary income.
  • Management system: Defines procedures for effective management implementation and review of SA8000 compliance, from designating responsible personnel to keeping records, addressing concerns and taking corrective actions 

How can we help you? 

Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) has accredited a few certification bodies/registrars, including DNV GL - Business Assurance, to audit and issue accredited certificates. 

The first step towards third party certification is to implement an effective management system complying with the requirements of the standard. See how you can get started on the road to certification.