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What is SA8000? Why is it Important?

18th Mar, 2021
What is SA8000? Why is it Important?

What is SA8000? Why is it Important?

SA8000 (Social Accountability) Standard is a global leading social certification program that was created in 1989 by Social Accountability International with an advisory board containing trade unions, NGOs, civil society organizations and companies.

SA8000 Overview
The standard encourages organizations irrespective of their size, industry and country to develop, maintain and apply socially responsible and acceptable practices in their workplace. The program provides a comprehensive framework for organizations to demonstrate their practices and dedication to fair treatment and management practices with respect to their employees/workers. In order to make it relevant and useful, the standard’s criteria were developed from various industry and corporate codes. SA8000 follows a management system-inspired approach to measure social performance and continual improvement as opposed to the checklist-style auditing of many other international standards.

SA8000 is based on ISO Standards. Therefore, it is easier for companies to carry out the requirements and effectively implement the standard in the company. Also, it is created with reference to the principles of international human rights norms as described in International Labour Organization conventions as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

SA8000 protects 2,092,945 workers across

  •  4,483 Certified Organizations
  •  57 Industries
  •  61 Countries


SA8000 Scope and Application

SA8000 can be carried out by any organization irrespective of their size, industry and country. The standard is extremely beneficial to organizations that are

  •  Interested in transparency, fair ethical working treatment and working conditions.
  •  Seeking to establish compliance with the laws of the country.
  •  Willing to maintain its social fingerprint, develop and maintain the same working standard worldwide.

SA8000 is Applicable to

  •  Food and Beverage manufacturing company
    Textile industries
  •  Construction and Civil Engineering company
  • Electrical equipment’s manufacturing company
  •  Metal and metal products manufacturing company
  • Paper industry
  •  Oil and chemical refineries
  •  Rubber and plastic manufacturing company
  •  Pharmaceutical industry
  •  Heavy machine manufacturing industry

SA8000 Requirements

Similar to many other standards, SA8000 also requires fulfillment of general and documentation requirements. Please find the requirements listed below.

General Requirements
Since the audits for SA8000 conducted without the traditional checklist-style, the standard requires the company to follow the mentioned elements.

  •  Child Labour
  •  Forced or Compulsory Labour
  •  Health and Safety
  • Freedom of Association & Right to Collective Bargaining
  • Disciplinary Practices
  •  Working Hours
  •  Remuneration
  • Management System

Documentation Requirements
After determining the external and internal issues relevant to social accountability, the organization must maintain the following documents.

  •  Policies, procedures and records
  •  Formation of Social Performance Team ( SPT)
  • Identification and assessment of risk
  • Monitoring
  •  Management involvement
  •  Complaint management and resolution
  •  Corrective and preventive actions
  •  Management of suppliers and contractors

SA8000 Benefits
The standard aims to improve the social environment for workers as well as businesses. From maintaining management systems to enhancing work engagement along with ensuring consistent improvement, the standard fosters better working conditions and well-being of the employees. As a result, a business can receive benefits such as productivity, stakeholder relationships, market access, and more.

SA8000 Benefits for Employees/Workers

  • Improved relationships with workers, customers, and external stakeholders
  •  Enhanced management systems that improve workflows throughout the organization leading to achieve Improved quality and productivity
    • Better hazard and risk detection
    • Increased supply chain control
    • Higher employee retention
  •  Enhanced reputation, appeal to global buyers, and preferential status in government tenders
  •  Safe workplaces and healthy working conditions
  •  Fair compensation
  •  Increased awareness of rights and opportunities to organize
  •  Better relationships with management and more input in workplace decision-making

SA8000 Benefits for Organizations

  •  Proves the organization’s commitment to social accountability
  •  Enhances trust by the fair treatment of your employees
  •  Improves the management and performance of supply chain and management
  •  Increases recognition through compliance with global standards
  •  Reduces the risk of negligence, public exposure and possible litigation
  •  Supports corporate vision in building the trust and loyalty of the employees, customers and stakeholders
  •  Demonstrates social accountability
  •  Helps in gaining trust while bidding for international contracts or expanding locally to accommodate new business
    4C consulting can help you obtain a social accountability certificate with utmost efficiency making your organization socially responsible. To know how you can implement SA8000 in your organization, Contact us now