SA 8000 Certification

SA 8000 is an international certification standard that encourages organization to develop, maintain and apply socially acceptable practices in the office. It was created in 1989 by Social Accountability International (SAI), an affiliate of the Council on Economic Priorities, and is viewed as the most internationally accepted independent workplace standard. It can be applied to any company, of any size, anywhere in the world. The areas it addresses include forced and child labor, health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, compensation and management systems.

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

Child Labor- Prohibits child labor (under age 15 in most cases). Certified companies must also allocate funds for the education of children who might drop jobs as a result of this standard.

Forced Labor- Workers cannot be essential to surrender their identity papers or pay "deposits" as a condition of employment.

Health and Safety- Companies must meet simple standards for a safe and healthy working environment, including clean water, restroom facilities, applicable safety equipment, and essential training.

Freedom of Association- Protects the rights of workers to form and join trade unions and to bargain cooperatively, without fear of reprisals.

Discrimination- No judgment on the basis of race, caste, disability, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, or political affiliation.

Disciplinary Practices- Forbids corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion and verbal abuse of employees.

Working Hours- Offers 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.

Compensation- Salaries paid must meet all minimum legal standards and provide enough income for basic needs, with at least some discretionary income.

Management- Defines procedures for in effect management implementation and review of SA8000 compliance, from designating responsible personnel to keeping records, addressing concerns and taking corrective actions.


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