SA8000 Social Responsibility Standard – Benefits, Norms, Processes

1. What is SA8000?  What are the benefits of SA8000 to society?

With the development of the global economy, people are paying more and more attention to corporate social responsibility and labor rights in the production process. However, as the production and supply chains of enterprises have become more and more complex, involving more and more countries and regions, in order to ensure that all links comply with standards and specifications, relevant organizations have begun to implement relevant standards to ensure that the production process Sustainability and social responsibility.

(1) What is SA8000?  SA8000 Chinese is the Social Accountability 8000 Standard, a set initiated by Social Accountability International (SAI), a social international organization, jointly developed and promoted by European and American multinational companies and other international organizations, based on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization Conventions, international human rights norms and national labor laws, and transparent, measurable, and identifiable international standards for corporate society, covering rights, environment, safety, management systems, treatment, etc., can be used in any country and region and in all walks of life Businesses of different sizes. To put it simply, it is an international standard for "protecting labor human rights" set for countries and all walks of life.  (2) The development history of SA8000 In the process of continuous development and implementation, SA8000 will be continuously revised according to the suggestions and opinions of stakeholders on the revision and improvement of the version, so as to ensure that it is in the ever-changing standards, industries and environments Continue to uphold the highest social standards. It is hoped that this standard and its guidance documents will be more complete with the help of more organizations and individuals.


1997: Social Accountability International (SAI) was established in 1997 and released the first edition of the SA8000 standard. 2001: The second edition of SA8000:2001 was officially released.  2004: The third edition of SA8000:2004 was officially released.  2008: The 4th edition of SA8000:2008 was officially released.  2014: The fifth edition of SA8000:2014 was officially released.  2017: 2017 officially announces that the old version of SA8000: 2008 is invalid. Organizations currently adopting the SA8000:2008 standard need to switch to the new version of 2014 before then.  2019: In 2019, it was officially announced that starting from May 9, the SA8000 verification cycle for newly-applied certification enterprises will be changed from once every six months (6 months) to once a year.

(3) Benefits of SA8000 to society


Protect labor rights

Companies following the SA8000 standard can ensure that workers enjoy basic labor rights, including benefits, job safety, health and human rights. This helps reduce the risk of worker exploitation and improves the worker's quality of life.

Improve working conditions and increase employee retention

The SA8000 standard defines working conditions as an enterprise must create a safe, healthy and humane working environment. Implementing the SA8000 standard can improve the working environment, thereby improving the health and job satisfaction of workers and increasing employee retention.promote fair trade

The implementation of SA8000 standards by enterprises can promote fair trade, because these enterprises will follow international labor standards and ensure that their products are produced by labor complying with these standards.

Enhance corporate reputation

By implementing the SA8000 standard, companies can demonstrate that they care about labor rights and social responsibility. This helps to improve corporate reputation and image, attracting more consumers, investors and partners. Based on the above, it can be seen that by following the SAI SA8000 standard, it will help to improve the corporate social responsibility and moral level, help reduce the risk of labor exploitation, improve the quality of life of labor, and thus have a positive impact on the entire society.

2. The 9 major norms and key points of SA8000 articles

The SA8000 International Standard for Social Responsibility is based on internationally recognized work standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Labor Organization conventions and national laws.  SA8000 2014 applies the management system approach to social responsibility, and emphasizes the continuous improvement of business organizations rather than checklist audits.  The SA8000 audit and certification system provides a SA8000 verification framework for business organizations of all types, in any industry, and in any country and region, enabling them to conduct labor relations in a fair and decent way with labor and migrant workers, and to prove that the business organization can Comply with SA8000 social responsibility standard.

child labor

It is prohibited to employ children under the age of 15. If the minimum working age or compulsory education age stipulated by local law is higher than 15 years old, the higher age shall prevail.

forced or compulsory labor

Employees have the right to leave the workplace after standard working hours have been completed. Enterprise organizations shall not force labor, require employees to pay deposits or store identity documents in enterprise organizations when they are employed, nor shall they detain wages, benefits, property, and certificates in order to force employees to work.

health and safety

Business organizations should provide a safe and healthy working environment and should take effective measures to prevent potential health and safety accidents and occupational injuries, or diseases that occur or are caused in the course of work. Where risks remain in the workplace, organizations should provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment at no cost.

Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

All employees shall have the right to form and join trade unions of their choice, and organizations shall not interfere in any way with the establishment, operation or management of trade unions.


Business organizations should respect the rights of employees to exercise their beliefs and customs, and prohibit hiring, salary, training, promotion, promotion, etc. Discrimination in areas such as retirement. In addition, the company cannot tolerate coercive, abusive or exploitative sexual harassment, including language, gestures and physical contact.


The organization shall treat all employees with dignity and respect. The company shall not take corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion, and verbal insults to employees, and does not allow employees to be treated in a rough or inhumane manner.

operating hours

Organizations shall abide by local laws and shall not work overtime. All overtime must also be voluntary, and must not exceed 12 hours per week, and must not be recurring, and must be guaranteed overtime pay.


The enterprise organization shall guarantee the wages for a standard working week, excluding overtime hours, which shall at least meet the requirements of the legal minimum wage standard. Payment cannot be deferred or otherwise paid, such as vouchers, coupons or promissory notes. In addition, all overtime work shall be paid overtime wages in accordance with national regulations.

management system

Through correct implementation, supervision and execution to fully comply with the SA8000 standard, and during the implementation period, representatives from the non-management level must be self-selected to participate with the management level to integrate, improve and maintain the entire process.

3. SA8000 certification process

Step1. Self-assessment

SA 8000 establishes an SAI database account in the SAI database background, performs and purchases SA8000 self-assessment, the cost is 300 US dollars, and the duration is about 60-90 minutes.

Step2. Find an accredited certification body

SA 8000 contacts SA8000-approved 3rd party certification bodies, such as National Notary Inspection Co., Ltd., TUV NORD, SGS, British Standards Institution, TTS, etc., to start the complete assessment process.

Step3. The institution conducts verification

The SA 8000 certification body will first conduct an initial stage 1 audit to assess the organization's readiness to meet the standard. This stage usually takes 1 to 2 days. This is followed by a full certification audit in Phase 2, which includes review of documentation, work practices, employee interview responses and operational records. The time it takes depends on the size and scope of the organization, and it takes about 2 to 10 days.

Step4. Obtain SA8000 certification

After SA 8000 confirms that the business organization has implemented the necessary actions and improvements to meet the SA8000 standard, the SA8000 certificate is awarded.

Institution Step5. Periodic update and verification of SA 8000

After May 9, 2019, the verification cycle of SA8000 for new applicants is once a year

Post time: Sep-01-2023

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