SA8000 Standard For Garment Industry

workers in a garment factory bangladesh

What is SA8000

The first global and voluntary ethical standard on corporate social responsibility is called social accountability (SA8000). The standard was first published in late 1997, and it was later revised in 2001. Its goal is to ensure ethical sourcing and production of goods and services by ensuring the rights of workers involved in production processes and promoting workplace standardization in all sectors of business.

Why Should You Choose SA8000 As Your Social Audit Framework?

A social audit is one of the most cost-effective methods of evaluating a supplier and proactively identifying any compliance issues. There are numerous social compliance standards, but Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000) is a good place to start.
Compliance with SA8000 lays a solid foundation for compliance with local laws and international human rights norms. You can prepare your supplier for an audit and accurately interpret the results of an audit by understanding the requirements of an SA8000 social compliance audit checklist. Rather than requiring suppliers to use their own customized framework, many major retailers now accept international third-party audit frameworks like SA8000. Brands such as Walmart and Disney, for example, accept SA8000 audit results for their social compliance programs.

SA8000’s Main Characteristics

  • The SA 8000 standard and verification system is a reliable, thorough, and effective tool for ensuring humane working conditions.
  • This standard’s requirements will apply regardless of geographic location, industry sector, or company size.
  • Participation of all key stakeholders in the SA 8000 system, including workers, trade unions, companies, socially responsible investors, NGOs, and the government.
  • It regulates factory-level management system requirements for continuous compliance and requirements.
  • Using the SA 8000 certification and corporate involvement program to help identify and support companies that are committed to ensuring human rights in the workplace, we are able to harness consumer and investor concern.

9 Requirements Of SA8000

1.0 Child Labor : According to SA-8000, a company must:

  • Do not engage in or support child labor.
  • Implement remediation programs for children who are working.
  • Employing young workers during school hours is prohibited, and the combined hours of daily transportation (to and from work and school), school and work time should not exceed 10 hours per day.
  • Do not expose children or young workers to hazardous, unsafe, or unhealthy situations in or out of the workplace.

2.0 Forced Labor: SA8000d prohibits the following:

  • Forced and compulsory labor is used.
  • Personal deposits are held as a guarantee by the employer.
  • Wage withholding as a form of security.
  • After the shift, restrain the employees.

3.0 Health and Safety: The SA8000 standard requires:

  • A workplace that is safe and healthy.
  • To take adequate precautions to avoid accidents and injuries to one’s health.
  • Access to potable water and a clean bathroom.
  • Appointment of a management representative responsible for all personnel’s health and safety and accountable for the implementation of these standards’ health and safety arrangements.

4.0 Associational Freedom and the Right to Collective Bargaining: SA8000 requires the concerned company to respect:

  • Workers have the right to form and join trade unions.
  • Employees have the right to bargain collectively.
  • Where the law forbids these freedoms, allow for parallel means of association and bargaining.

5.0 Discrimination: SA8000 forbids discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Nationality or Caste
  • Gender
  • Union membership based on political affiliation
  • Religion

6.0 Disciplinary Practices: SA8000 Standards forbids the following:

  • The use of corporal punishment
  • Coercion, either mental or physical
  • Employee verbal abuse 7.0 Working Hours: According to SA-8000, a company must adhere to the following:
  • The maximum number of hours per week is 48.
  • Every seven days, you get one day off.
  • Overtime work must be voluntary and limited to no more than 12 hours per week.
  • Overtime work is always compensated at a higher rate.

8.0 Compensation: According to the SA8000 standard, the company must ensure:

  • That wages are paid in accordance with industry or legal minimum standards.
  • That the wages are adequate to meet basic needs.
  • That wages are paid on time and in a transparent manner.
  • That no wages are deducted for disciplinary reasons.

9.0 Management Systems: SA8000 requires top management to do the following:

  • Policy for Social Accountability should be defined.
  • Review the policy on a regular basis.
  • Appoint a senior management representative to oversee standard compliance.
  • That the standards’ requirements are understood and implemented at various levels.


When compared to more complicated social audit frameworks, SA8000 is quite simple to grasp. SA8000 serves as a benchmark standard for holding your suppliers accountable for ethical manufacturing practices. A social audit based on the standard can help you get a clear picture of what’s going on in your supplier’s factory and any potential compliance issues.

By conducting an SA-8000 compliance audit, you can ensure compliance with retailer compliance standards while also keeping production on track.

Prakash Dutt

Prakash is an accomplished apparel professional with extensive experience in apparel manufacturing, sourcing, quality control, sustainability, and CSR.He is a lean management professional (black belt in lean six sigma), innovative and open to experimenting with new technology and changes in the industry.

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