SA 8000:2014 encourages organizations to develop, maintain & apply socially acceptable practices in workplace.
SA 8000 CERTIFICATION
When talking about the leading social certification standard for various organizations across the globe, the first name that comes to one’s mind is the SA 8000 certification standard. It was established in 1997, and today it is an overall framework through which the workers across various industries to get fair treatment which is dedicatedly demonstrated by the certified organizations across the globe. It basically is an international certification standard through which various organizations are encouraged to maintain, develop or carry out various activities that are socially accepted in various industries.
There are many issues covered under the SA 8000 certification standard and few among them are:
- Forced child labor
- Occupational safety and health issues
- Freedom of Collective bargaining
- Freedom to associate
- Freedom to carry out Disciplinary practices
- Compulsory Labor
- Working hours
- Management Systems
SA 8000 certifications believe in spreading its standards worldwide but it also, on the other hand, focuses on existing international agreements, which includes various conventions like International Labor Organization, Human Rights Declaration and Conventions on the Rights of the Children.
If an organization adopts the SA8000 certification, then it must consider the social impacts of the various operations and conditions under which the operational work of the employees, suppliers, and partners is carried out.
Going deep about its performance criteria:
- It states that there is no use for children to be working in situations, instead provide adequate financial and other support in order for them to attain proper schooling and also provides employment to youngsters.
- It believes that people should be working in proper healthy and safe environment, providing prevention from occupational accidents.
- It does not support any discrimination based on any criteria be it race, caste, birth, religion, gender, disability, union membership, sex, age and political opinions. No discrimination in terms of hiring, training access, promotions, termination or remunerations.
- Each and all should be treated with the same respect and dignity and no tolerance in terms of any kind of physical or mental abuse, harsh or inhumane treatment or corporal punishments.
- Every organization should have a set of rules and regulations(laws) which include various terms as normal workweek, no overtimes, not exceeding the 48-hour time span, voluntary overtime etc.
- All workers should be paid with their share of legal minimum wage, sufficient enough to meet their basic needs and necessities and there should be no deductions. The wages should be paid to the workers in the most convenient manner, their overtime should be paid and appreciated at premium rates and short-term contracts or any such legal obligations should be avoided.
How is it beneficial for an organization to adopt SA 8000 certification standard?
- The management and performance of the supply chain is improved.
- An organization’s commitment to social accountability is proved.
- An organization can ensure its compliance with various global standards and the risk of negligence, possible litigations, and public exposure is reduced.
- Loyalty among the customers, stakeholders and employees is built and reinforced.
- When an organization is bidding for international contracts or locally expanding in order to accommodate new businesses, SA 8000 helps in demonstrating proper social accountability.
It includes various procedures which are as follows:
- Decision Making
- Revision Commencement
- Public Review phase for comments
- SAI review of comments submitted
- Complaints and Dispute Resolution
- Approval of Revised Standards
There are a number of benefits to opt for SA 8000 certification
- It provides a reliable assurance that an organization upholds various expectations for social performance.
- It also helps in improving the management systems in order to address social and labor risks.
It all goes step by step starting the first step to be the certification process and once an organization is eligible and mature enough to attain or pursue certification, then comes to the evaluation process under which the certified organization starts selecting and working with other higher standards certified organizations. Then comes the process for documentation which includes implementing necessary improvements to attain standards
The SA8000 certificate is valid for three years and the organization needs to recertify it at the end of the year.