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Equal Opportunities

The Equality Act 2010 introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty (section 149). This duty means that the Student Loans Company has to promote equality and prevent unlawful discrimination in everything that we do. This includes procurement. The characteristics covered under the Equality Act 2010 are:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation.

It also gives The Student Loans Company (SLC) and all public sector organisations a clearer, more direct positive legal duty to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations.

Where one of our functions is carried out by an external supplier on our behalf, then we remain responsible for meeting the duty. The duty can also apply indirectly to a private company contracted by us.

We need to ensure that our suppliers are not operating in a discriminatory way, under the law. If they are found to be doing so we may be liable, so we have to ensure that we have considered the contract’s impact on equality, and ensure that our contractors are practicing and promoting equality within their own organisation.

Suppliers (and potential suppliers) need to be aware of the Equality Duty on the Student Loans Company as it has implications for them.


More information can be found using these useful links:

Local Government Improvement and Development Guidance on Equality in Procurement

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act 2010