SA 8000: 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, formerly the Council on Economic Priorities, by an advisory board consisting of trade unions, NGOs, civil society organizations and companies. The SA8000 streamlines the complexities of navigating industry and corporate codes to create a common language and standard for measuring social compliance. As it can be applied worldwide to any company in any industry, it is an extremely useful tool in measuring, comparing, and verifying social accountability in the workplace.
SA 8000 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. SA 8000 is based on the principles of international human rights norms as described in International Labour Organisation conventions,the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 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.
Child Labor: No use or support of child labor, policies and written procedures for remediation ofchildren found to be working in situation; provide adequate financial and other support to enable such children to attend school; and employment of young workers conditional.
Forced and Compulsory Labor: No use or support for forced or compulsory labor; no required 'deposits' - financial or otherwise; no withholding salary, benefits, property or documents to force personnel to continue work; personnel right to leave premises after workday; personnel free to terminate their employment; and no use nor support for human trafficking.
Health and Safety: Provide a safe and healthy workplace, prevent potential occupational accidents, appoint senior manager to ensure OSH; instruction on OSH for all personnel, system to detect, avoid,respond to risks; record all accidents, provide personal protection equipment and medical attention in event of work-related injury, remove, reduce risks to new and expectant mothers; hygiene- toilet, potablewater, sanitary food storage; decent dormitories- clean, safe, meet basic needs; and worker right toremove from imminent danger.
Association and Right to Collective Bargaining: Respect the right to form and join tradeunions and bargain collectively. All personnel are free to: organize trade unions of their choice; and bargain collectively with their employer. A company shall respect right to organize unions & bargain collectively, not interfere in workers’ organizations or collective bargaining, inform personnel of theserights & freedom from retaliation, where law restricts rights, allow workers freely elect representatives, ensure no discrimination against personnel engaged in worker organizations, and ensure representatives access to workers at the workplace.
Discrimination: No discrimination based on race, national or social origin, caste, birth, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political opinions and age. No discrimination inhiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination, and retirement. No interference with exercise of personnel tenets or practices, prohibition of threatening, abusive, exploitative, coercive behavior at workplace or company facilities, no pregnancy or virginity tests under any circumstances.Disciplinary Practices: Treat all personnel with dignity and respect, zero tolerance of corporal punishment, mental or physical abuse of personnel, no harsh or inhumane treatment. Working Hours: Compliance with laws & industry standards, normal workweek, not including overtime,
shall not exceed 48 hours, 1 day off following every 6 consecutive work days, with some exceptions overtime is voluntary, not regular, not more than 12 hours per week, required overtime only if negotiated in CBA.
Remuneration: Respect right of personnel to living wage, all workers paid at least legal minimum wage, wages sufficient to meet basic needs & provide discretionary income, deductions not for disciplinary purposes, with some exceptions, wages and benefits clearly communicated to workers; paid inconvenient manner – cash or check form; overtime paid at premium rate; prohibited use of labor-onlycontracting, short-term contracts, false apprenticeship schemes to avoid legal obligations to personnel.
Sedex is a not for profit global membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains.As the largest collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data, Sedex is an innovative and effective supply chain management solution, helping you to reduce risk, protect your company reputationand improve supply chain practices.
In today’s market, the ethical and responsible performance of companies is under increasing scrutiny from customers, the media, investors and other stakeholders. Companies are under constant pressure tomonitor and understand their supply chains. Revelations of unfair or unsafe labour practices, corruptionor environmental negligence in the supply chain can damage a company’s reputation and lead to a loss of revenue.
Consequently, suppliers are under pressure to provide ethical data to various customers undergo multiple audits and comply with different codes and standards. Duplicating all of this information can becounter-productive, often leading to a loss of productivity and preventing suppliers from concentrating resources on actually improving standards.
The effective management and monitoring of supply chains is vital in helping to drive improvements inlabor and environmental standards, but, how can companies achieve this without increasing the administrative burden on suppliers?
THE BUSINESS SOCIAL COMPLIANCE INITIATIVE (BSCI)
The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is a leading business-driven initiative supporting retailers, importers and brands to improve working conditions in supplying factories and farms world wide. Our vision is a world of free trade and sustainable global supply chains, in which factories andfarms are compliant with national labor legislation as well as with ILO Conventions protecting workers’rights.
In the context of globalization, retailers, importers and brands source products from supplying companies around the world. Many of them are located in countries where national laws protecting workers are inadequate or poorly enforced. To address this, many companies and associations have created individual codes of conduct and their own implementation systems.The proliferation of individual codes, diverse auditing procedures and diverging implementation approaches have resulted in confusion and unnecessary duplication of efforts and costs for retailers, importers and brands as well as their producers.
BSCI works to tackle these challenges by offering one common Code of Conduct and one single Implementation System that enable all companies sourcing all types of products from all geographies to collectively address the complex labor issues of their supply chain. To ease the implementation of the
BSCI Code of Conduct, we develop - with the input of participating companies and stakeholders - a broad range of tools and activities to audit, train, share information and influence key actors towards improving labor conditions in the supply chain of participating companies.