International Associates is accredited by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) to certify companies to SA8000. Social Responsibility can strengthen your company’s reputation, in the current global business environment is motivating organizations to consider the full social and ethical impacts of their activities.
Companies that prove a responsible approach to social and ethical issues will gain a vital competitive edge and build confidence in its clients, investors, local communities and consumers.
Who is SAAS?
SAAS stands for Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) which is an Accreditation Agencywhich was founded to provide Accreditation and monitor Organisations as Certifiers of Social Standards who comply with the requirements of SA8000. SAAS was started as a department within SAI, which stands for Social Accountability International, in 1997, and was established as a non-profit organisation ten years later in 2007.
Why does social accountability matter?
It is estimated that upwards of 100 million children worldwide are in full-time employment. Under the requirements of social compliance, companies must not allow child labour.
They must also provide a safe and healthy work place for all and respect the right of all employees to join a trade union. Discrimination, in any form, is not allowed and neither is corporal punishment or verbal abuse.
What kind of standards does social accountability ensure?
Those organisations who gain social compliance certification will ensure that their employees and those employees of their suppliers do not work for more than 48 hours per week or more than six days per week. Wages throughout the supply chain must be at worse equal to legal or industry minimum levels and must leave the employee with some discretionary income.
The final requirement governing management systems sets out the procedures and structures that companies must adopt to ensure compliance with the standard is continuously reviewed.
What is SA8000?
SA8000 was the first audible standard in this field. In particular, it is compatible with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 structures and based on conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The worldwide-recognised certification to the SA8000 standard involves the development and auditing of management systems that promote socially acceptable working practices bringing benefits to the complete supply chain.
Why get certified?
Having a robust and effectively implemented social accountability management will benefit your business by:
- Enhancement of your brand, image and reputation
- Improving worker morale and thus effectiveness
- Creation of new opportunities
- Giving you an edge over non-approved competitors
- Attracting new customers
- Attracting ethical investment
- Demonstrating transparency to stakeholder
What are SA8000 main requirements?
There are nine key areas to Social Compliance and SA8000, which are:
- Child Labour
- Forced Labour
- Health & Safety
- Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
- Disciplinary Practices
- Working Hours
- Management systems
Within the key areas there is specific focus on:
- A ban on child labour and forced labour
- Demanding and introducing humane working conditions
- The guarantee of a living wage
- No discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, or religion
- The systematic improvement of working conditions
- External verification (through certification)
- The right to freedom of association, to organize in trade unions and engage in collective wage negotiations
- Commitment to a maximum working period of 48 hours per week with one free day.
What is the assessment process?
Please complete our online application and we will contact you if there are any clarifications. We shall then issue a quotation which will cover the assessment and certification processes.
Once the contract has been agreed with us, the social accountability assessment is conducted:
- Assessment team appointed and communicated
- Stage 1 Visit on-site
- Stage 2 Visit on-site
Recommendations from the Lead Auditor to the Decision Maker regarding award of Certification.
It is a requirement under our Accreditation that continual monitoring visits take place. These visits will be agreed in advance, with the exception of visit 2 in the certification cycle which shall be unannounced.
Alternatively get a quote by filling in our enquiry form.
You can download a copy of our SAAS Accreditation Certificate here.