In May 2009 it was verified by SAAS Accreditation that over one million workers are employed in SA8000 Certified Facilities around the world.
SA8000 is an auditable certification standard 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; remediation of any child found to be working.
Forced labor: No forced labor, including prison or debt bondage labor; no lodging of deposits or identity papers by employers or outside recruiters.
Health and Safety: 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: RRespect the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; where law prohibits these freedoms, facilitate parallel means of association and bargaining.
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.
Compensation: 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 Systems 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.
A facility wishing to seek certification to SA8000 must apply to a SAAS-accredited auditing firm, or certification body. Assessment of compliance to the SA8000 Standard and the issuance of accredited SA8000 certifications are available only through SAAS-accredited, independent organizations.
There are four basic types of out of pocket costs associated with certification:
The cost associated with taking corrective and preventive action in order to qualify for compliance. After this, an organization would seek verification of its compliance.
The cost of preparing for the audit.
The cost of an independent audit by a SAAS-accredited CB.
The cost associated with taking corrective actions to resolve problems (if nonconformances have been identified).
SAAS Accreditation maintains a public list of SA8000 certified facilities and statistics.
As of December 30, 2009:
Certified Facilities: 2,103
Countries Represented: 63
Industries Represented: 66
Number of Employees: 1,213,796
The industrial sectors with the most certifications include apparel and textiles; building materials; agriculture; construction; chemicals; cosmetics; cleaning services and transportation. The countries with the most certification to SA8000 include Brazil, India, China and Italy.
Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) is an accreditation agency founded to accredit and monitor organizations as certifiers of compliance with social standards, including the Social Accountability 8000 standard for ethical working conditions. SAAS began work as a department within Social Accountability International (SAI) in 1997 and was formally established as its own not-for-profit organization in 2007.
There are 19 Certification Bodies accredited by SAAS to carry out SA8000 social audits:
ABS Quality Evaluations, Inc.
CISE (Centro per l'Innovazione e lo Sviluppo Economico)
DNV (Det Norske Veritas AS)
HKQAA (Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency)
Intertek (Intertek Testing Services)
LRQA (Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance Ltd.)
RINA S.P.A (Registro Italiano Navale Group)
TUV NORD Group (TUV Asia Pacific)
TUV Rheinland Group
TUV SUD Group (TUV Sud South Asia)