Can an employer choose to employ a full-time person rather than two part-time people?

An employer may have sound business reasons for wanting to fill a job vacancy with a full-time worker (rather than one or two part-time workers), but may well be called on to justify those reasons before an employment tribunal. Requiring employees to work full time could indirectly discriminate against a female applicant who wishes to work part time due to childcare responsibilities. To defend such a claim, the employer would have to be able to justify objectively its decision to employ a full-time person in the role.