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SA8000:

Internal Corporate Social Responsibility Management


General Information for the standard implementation

Produced by BSD Brasil.


Reproduction permitted with mentioning of source.
Introduction

Launched in October 1997 by CEPAA - Council on Economics Priorities Accreditation Agency, a


Northern-American NGO that renamed itself to SAI Social Accountability International, Social
Accountability 8000 (SA8000)1 is the first global standard about corporate social responsibility. It
focus on the guaranty of the rights of the workers involved in the production processes, promoting
standardisation in all sectors of business and in all the countries.

At current time SAI has the role of promoting a stimulating the implementation of the standard in
the whole world as well as accrediting organisations qualified to certify.

Requirements

The standard is composed by 9 requirements based on the Convention of the International Labour
Organisation (ILO), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention
on the Rights of the Child. The certification also requires the conformity with the local laws.

The requirements to be incorporated by the corporation are:

Child Labour
Child Labour is not permitted. As Child Labour is considered labour done by a person younger than
15 years (or the minimum age established by local laws whichever rule is more restrictive). If the
company to be certified is employing minors of less than 15 years it is not allowed dismissing them.
In this case the company shall establish and present work plans to assure that the child is not
exposed to situations in or outside of the workplace that are hazardous, unsafe or unhealthy.
Furthermore the company has to guaranty the access to education. This ruling prohibits that
dismissed children have to submit themselves to even more dangerous work, keeping in mind that
they find themselves usually in a cycle of poverty which makes work the only way of survival;

Forced Labour

1
More information can be found on the website of SAI: www.sa8000.org

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Forced labour is not permitted. As forced labour is considered work that is extracted from any
person under the menace of any penalty and said person is not receiving remuneration. Retention of
personal documents or deposits by the company is not permitted;

Health and Safety


Health and safety have to be guaranteed. Maintenance of a healthy working environment, focus on
prevention of accidents, maintenance of machines, use of safety equipments and regular training
shall be stated in a Corporate Health and Safety Management System.

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining


Freedom of association and collective bargaining has to be respected. Workers do not have to
associate themselves necessarily, but have the right of a dialogue with the company. Direct
communication is stimulated.

Discrimination
Discrimination is not permitted. There is no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to
training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age,
disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.

Disciplinary Practices
Disciplinary practices are not permitted. The company shall not engage in or support the use of
corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion, and verbal abuse. Charging fines for not fulfilling
goals is not permitted.

Working Hours
Working hours should not exceed 48 hours a week. Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed 12
hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a
premium rate. Workers shall be provided with at leaf one day off every seven-day period. In the
case of Brazil, laws are more restrictive and have to be respected. The maximum working hours per
week is 44 hours.

Remuneration
Wages should always be enough to meet basic needs like housing, clothing, alimentation and to
provide some discretionary income. The company shall ensure that labour-only contracting
arrangements and false apprenticeship schemes are not undertaken in an effort to avoid fulfilling its
obligations under applicable laws.

Management Systems

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A management systems shall exist to assure the effectiveness of the concordance to all of the
requirements of the standard through documentation, implementation, maintenance,
communication and monitoring of the company relating to the requirements of the standard within a
on-going improvement process.

Referring to the Quality Management Standards ISO9000 and the Environment Management
Standard ISO14000, SA8000 is following their structure and emphasises the importance of an on-
going improvement process.

Why obtain SA8000?

Among the benefits of a SA8000 certification are:

Improvement of the internal organisational relations through the demonstration of the concern
with the worker and through the establishment of adequate health and safety conditions;

More information and through that increased credibility for the customers;

Better management of the productive chain;

Assurance for the company and its investors;

Consolidation of the image and reputation of the company as socially responsible.

Implementation

The implementation of SA8000 within an organisation is done through the definition of a


management system. A possible model is represented in the following figure.

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prepare
Information Collection
Analysis Perception Diagnosis

Organisation's First Self-Evaluation of


Interest Local Legislation and
Social Responsibility
International

Top Management Report


Social Management
Systems

Reconsider
Go
in the future
No
Yes

plan Commitment of the


Top Management

Definition of Working
Committee

Establish Social
Responsibility

Planning of Deepening of Self- Def. Stakeholder


Programme Evaluation Participation

Objectives Establish Goals Establish


and Activities

do Establish Control/ Def. Structure act


records and

Establish Operational Def. Review objectives,


Control internal/external goals and

SA8000 Procedure Sensibilisation


manual Training

Implementing
check Critical Analysis Monitoring corrective and
preventive actions

Internal Supplier control


review/auditing
internal

external

Pre-auditing External auditing Certification Marketing/PR

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Certification

The activities described in the management system should be accomplished and internally audited
before an external auditing is solicited. It is recommended that a pre-auditing through a third part
certification body2 is carried out before the certification auditing. Both the internal auditing and the
external pre-auditing can lead to corrective actions, which can be carried out before the certification
auditing.

The certification auditing consists of auditing visits to obtain objective evidence of the implemented
process. The information is collected through interviews with employees and stakeholders.

This process is followed by a report with the positive or negative recommendation for certification.

If the company possesses other types of certifications of the ISO-series (ISO9000 or ISO14000, for
example) it is possible to use and adapt the same management system created for the earlier
certifications. Auditing of the different certifications can be integrated, which results in considerable
cost reduction.

Once the certification has been obtained, bi-annual auditing visits will be necessary to verify the
fulfilment of the goals set in the action plans. Certification is valid for 3 years. After that period a
new certification has to be solicited.

Marketing activities and external publishing are only allowed after obtaining the certification.

2
Accredited certification bodies of the SAI are at current time (august 2002): BVQI, CISE, DNV, ITS, RINA
S.P.A, RWTUV, SGS-ICS, TUV, UL.

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BSD Business meets Social Development

BSD is a consultancy company active in Brazil since 1999. Its range of activities covers the
implementation and monitoring of standards and certifications in areas like:

Fair & Ethical Trade FLO3 e ETI4


Corporate Social Responsibility SA80005, AA10006 e GRI7

BSD, with its headquarter in So Paulo, is the Latin-American partner of BSD Business and Social
Development GmbH in Switzerland, which was founded in 1998 in Zurich.

Our Mission

To contribute to sustainable business development by applying innovative practices promoting


ethics, transparency and social responsibility in the organisations' activities.

More Information

Get in contact with


BSD Brasil
Rua Manoel da Nbrega, 595 cj. 43
04001-083 Paraso So Paulo SP Brasil
Fone/fax: 55 11 3051 4600
bsd.brasil@bsd-net.com http://www.bsd-net.com

3
FLO: Fair Trade Labelling Organizations International roof-organisation of different national Fairtrade
initiatives working with criteria of monitoring and certification defined and managed by FLO. More
information: www.fairtrade.net
4
ETI: Ethical Trade Initiative Alliance of companies, NGOs and trade unions committed to work together to
identify and promote ethical trade. More information: www.eti.org.uk
5
SA8000: Social Accountability 8000 - Global certification standard with the goal to guaranty basic workers'
rights. More information: www.sa8000.org
6
AA1000: AccountAbility 1000 Internal management standard for Corporate Social Responsibility, which
embodies the information gathering process, auditing and the social and ethical report with focus on the
stakeholder dialogue. More information: www.accountability.org.uk
7
GRI: Global Reporting Initiative Global initiative to standardise social, environmental and economical
sustainability reports. More information: www.globalreporting.org

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