The most widely recognized global standard for managing human rights in the workplace is Social Accountability International’s SA 8000:2014. It is the first auditable standard, suitable for organizations of all sizes anywhere in the world.
Social accountability expectations can vary from one company to another.
Fair compensation, reasonable working hours, a safe and healthy environment and prohibition of child labour and forced labour are common to all codes. Some codes add requirements for non-discrimination, freedom of association, disciplinary practices, or management system controls. A few mix in non-social issues such as drug interdiction, customs issues, or basic environmental controls. Expectations of the level of conformance to each of the above issues also vary dependent upon the code or standard selected. The absolute minimum expectation would be compliance with applicable laws, however this is often inadequate from the viewpoint of civil society and more stringent criteria are usually adopted.
Many companies choose to define their own values through a “Code of Conduct for Suppliers” or similar document. Other companies, in order to ensure that common values are adequately addressed, prefer to adopt a standard or common code and an associated, credible monitoring program, (such as the SA 8000 standard and program developed by the Council on Economic Priorities).
Whatever social accountability code or standard is adopted, and no matter how stringent the criteria contained within it, little credibility or value is provided to any party without periodic monitoring to determine and demonstrate conformance in the workplaces themselves.
Benefits of Implementing SA 8000:2014
The benefits of using the standards are as follows:
- Achieve best practice in ethical employment, trading and operations.
- Engage and motivate your employees with improved morale.
- Introduce greater transparency to the way you run your business.
- Maintain existing business and attract new customers and investors.
- Gain recognition as an socially accountable organization.
SA 8000: 2014
Standard authored and administered by SAI (Social Accountability International, USA).
SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS:
- No child labour
- No forced labour
- Health and safety at the workplace
- Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining
- No discrimination on race, creed, caste and sex
- Disciplinary practices
- Working Hours
- Management Systems
The goal of Social Accountability management (SA-8000) is to improve global working conditions and this standard requires compliance to key United Nations Conventions, International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
International marketers manufacture or purchase manufactured goods made in many countries. It is often difficult to assure that the working conditions and practices in these widespread locations comply with the goals and objectives of the marketers. For this reason, many of them now, or sooner will be requiring independent verification that a supplier complies with the international Social Accountability Standard SA-8000.
Successful implementation of SA-8000 will give your company a great competitive advantage to keep your current business and to obtain new business. IQMS has the expertise and experience to assist you in the cost effective implementation of SA-8000 in your company
How Can We Help?
IQMS consists of full-time trainers and consultants with industry-diverse experience. While we do use industry proven approaches and methodologies, we tailor these to fit your organization’s specific needs.
A unique combination of manufacturing experience, business and financial expertise, and a “hands-on” approach creates a recipe for our clients’ success. We not only identify and prioritize opportunities to add significantly to your bottom line; we develop and help our clients implement a plan for exploiting those opportunities to achieve financially measurable success.