The requirements are based on a number of existing rules and internationally accepted regulations defining human rights, in particular on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the conventions of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations and positive national legislation. In its requirements, the SA8000 standard includes nine main areas, which are:
1. Children’s work
Children who are under 15 years of age are forbidden to work. The organization must not expose children or young workers to any situation in or outside the workplace that is dangerous or unsafe for their physical and mental health and development. Children should be committed to education and development. Child labor often compromises the chances of children to become productive adults. Child labor reflects poverty and social inequality. Child labor can compromise a country’s reputation and productivity, as well as its global acceptance of its exports. The aim of this request is to protect children, so remediation of child labor is central. The organization is required to ensure that the working child can enter and stay in school until he or she is no longer a child. This request aims to clarify and emphasize that this part of the organization’s support must address issues that hinder the child’s education. In accordance with SA8000, an organization must have a remediation plan in the event that children are ever found to be working within the organization.
2. Forced or compulsory labor
The organization must not engage in or support the use of forced or compulsory labor. This requirement of SA8000 ensures that workers can legally leave their employer, terminate their work in the organization, leave the workplace at the end of their normal workday and be removed from imminent danger.
3. Health and safety
Companies must ensure basic health and safety standards, including drinking water, sanitary facilities, protective equipment and necessary education. The organization should provide a safe and healthy workplace environment and take effective steps to prevent potential health and safety incidents and occupational injuries or illnesses arising from work-related conditions. The organization must provide its employees with work safety equipment and training.
4. Freedom of association The right to bargain collectively
Employees are guaranteed freedom of union organization and action without authorization, as well as the right to join and organize trade unions of their choice and to negotiate collectively on their behalf with the organization.
The organization must not participate in or support discrimination in employment, remuneration, access to training, promotion, or any other condition that may lead to discrimination, or allow any discriminatory behavior in the workplace.
6. Disciplinary measures
The organization must treat its employees with dignity and respect. The organization must not tolerate the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse of staff.
7. Working hours
The organization must adhere to national positive legislation, collective agreements (where applicable) and industry standards for working hours, breaks and holidays. Provides frames for a maximum of 48 working hours per work week, with a minimum of one day off per week and a limit of 12 hours paid overtime per week.
Compensation received by a worker at a particular place for a standard workweek sufficient to allow the worker and his family a decent standard of living. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing and other essential needs, including the provision of unexpected events.
9. Requirements for management
It defines procedures for successfully managing, implementing and evaluating SA8000 standards and its compliance with the organizational management process.