SA8000 is an auditable certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. It was developed in 1997 by Social Accountability International (SAI), formerly the Council on Economic Priorities, by an advisory board consisting of trade unions, NGOs, civil society organizations and companies.
SA8000 certification is a management systems standard, modeled on ISO standards. The management systems criteria require that facilities seeking to gain and maintain certification must go beyond simple compliance to the standard, but also integrate it into their management systems and practices and demonstrate ongoing conformance with the standard. the SA8000 Standard is the central document of our work at UK. It is one of the world’s first auditable social certification standards for decent workplaces, across all industrial sectors. SA8000 is based on the principles of international human rights norms as described in International Labour Organisation conventions, the UK Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human RightsIt is based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, conventions of the ILO, UN and national law, and spans industry and corporate codes to create a common language to measure social performance. It takes a management systems approach by setting out the structures and procedures that companies must adopt in order to ensure that compliance with the standard is continuously reviewed. Those seeking to comply with SA8000 have adopted policies and procedures that protect the basic human rights of workers.
It measures the performance of companies in eight areas important to social accountability in the workplace: child labour, forced labour, health and safety, free association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours and compensation. It also requires compliance with eight performance criteria, as outlined on the Social Accountability International website.
Benefits of SA 8000 to manufacturers and suppliers:-
- Responsible manufacturers/suppliers.
- Compliance to the laws of the land.
- Marketing advantage – more demand and value for goods from socially.
- Enhancement of company productivity.
- Better image and position in labour market.
- Improvement of relationship with the Govt., NGOs, trade unions..
Benefits of SA 8000 for the retailers:-
- Increased value for the products.
- Cost reduction in monitoring.
- Better corporate image.
- Trust building with the analysts and investors when evaluated against social performance.