Does an employee have the right to be accompanied at a meeting to discuss a statutory request for flexible working?

There is no specific statutory obligation on employers to hold a meeting with an employee to discuss a request for flexible working, or to allow the employee to be accompanied at any such meeting. However, the employer has a general duty to handle statutory flexible working requests in a reasonable manner.

The Acas code of practice on handling in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly sets out guidance for employers and will be taken into account by employment tribunals in relevant cases. The code recommends that the employer should discuss the request with the employee and that it should allow the employee to be accompanied by a work colleague for this discussion.