SA8000 was set up or developed to help ensure that workers of the world are treated according to basic human rights principles.
SA stands for Social Accountability and is run by Social Accountability International (SAI). SAI was founded in1997 by Alice Tepper Marlin in the USA. It is a global standard-setting non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving workplaces and communities.
SA8000 is based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and various International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. SA8000 covers the following areas of accountability:
Child labor : No workers under the age of 15; minimum lowered to 14 for countries operating under the ILO Convention 138 developing-country exception.
Forced labor : No forced labor, including prison or debt bondage labor; no lodging of deposits or identity papers by employers or outside recruiters.
Workplace safety and health : Provide a safe and healthy work environment; take steps to prevent injuries; regular health and safety worker training; system to detect threats to health and safety; access to bathrooms and potable water.
Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining : Respect the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively.
Discrimination : No discrimination based on race, caste, origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union or political affiliation, or age; no sexual harassment.
Discipline : No corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse.
Working hours : Comply with the applicable law but, in any event, no more than 48 hours per week with at least one day off for every seven day period; voluntary overtime paid at a premium rate and not to exceed 12 hours per week on a regular basis; overtime may be mandatory if part of a collective bargaining agreement.
Remuneration : Wages paid for a standard work week must meet the legal and industry standards and be sufficient to meet the basic need of workers and their families; no disciplinary deductions.
Management system for Human Resources : Facilities seeking to gain and maintain certification must go beyond simple compliance to integrate the standard into their management systems and practices.
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