SA 8000 certificate is a respected social accountability certification for producers, factories and farms. This is based on SA 8000:2014 standard. This standard has 9 clauses. Out of the 9 clauses 8 are related to Labour welfare and 9th clause is related to management system. Because of the management system orientation this standard is little more difficult to adopt. This is why it is more demanding in terms of efforts required to maintain certification.
One of the other reason, it is more respected is that it asks for the Basic Needs Wage implementation. This is a significant demand from the producers and suppliers as this increases their wage bill. This is the reason it is considered a gold standard for Social Accountability.
SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY 8000- also known as SA 8000 certification.
SA 8000 standard concerns all companies regardless of activity that aim at continuously improving labour conditions and communicate this to all relevant stakeholders and interested parties, by addressing labour issues also to sub-contractors.
Rising public concern about inhumane working conditions in developing countries led to the creation in 1997 of the Social Accountability International Organization. Its purpose was to draw up a universal code of practice for labour conditions in manufacturing and agricultural industry. The SA8000 standard for socially responsible employment practices prescribes specific performance standards. It has set new standards governing workers’ rights. SA8000 is designed to embrace existing international agreements including ILO convention, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. These instruments are referred in SA8000.
It provides transparent, measurable, verifiable elements for certifying the performance of companies in nine essential areas:
Health and Safety
Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining
Many businesses have already begun to recognize the commercial advantages of adopting an ethical dimension in their employment practices, and are operating their own codes of conduct. The SA 8000 standard now offers a global social responsibility employment practice, which complies with UN and Human Rights Conventions and Declarations.
Furthermore, the certified SA 8000 company shows in practice to all its employees its respect and commitment to labour rights and improvement of labour conditions.