APPENDIX 1: PROPOSED TEXT FOR THE COMPANION
TO THE STANDING ORDERS|
The following text is proposed for inclusion in future
editions of the Companion, replacing paragraphs 1.27-1.29
of the 2010 edition (for which see Appendix 2). Paragraph 1.30,
which describes access to facilities for those on Leave of Absence,
would also require minor amendment to extend it to members who
have taken voluntary retirement.
A separate amendment would be required to paragraph
4 of the Code of Conduct, to exclude those who have taken voluntary
retirement from the provisions of the Code.
Leave of Absence
Members of the House are to attend the sittings of
the House. If they cannot attend, they should obtain leave of
absence. At any time
during a Parliament, a member of the House may obtain leave of
absence for the rest of the Parliament by applying in writing
to the Clerk of the Parliaments.
Before the beginning of every Parliament the Clerk
of the Parliaments writes to each member who was on leave of absence
at the end of the preceding Parliament to ask whether he wishes
to renew that leave of absence for the new Parliament. In addition,
at the start of each session of Parliament the Clerk of the Parliaments
writes to those members (other than bishops) who attended very
infrequently in the previous session, inviting them to apply for
Leave of Absence.
The House grants leave of absence to those who apply.
The House also grants leave to all members, to whom the Clerk
of the Parliaments has written as described in the preceding paragraph,
who fail to reply within three months of the Clerk of the Parliaments'
letter being sent.
Directions relating to those on leave of absence
are as follows:
(a) a member of the House who has been granted
leave of absence should not attend sittings of the House or of
any committee of the House until his leave has expired or been
terminated, except to take the oath of allegiance;
(b) a member of the House on leave of absence
who wishes to attend during the period for which leave was granted
should give notice in writing to the Clerk of the Parliaments
at least three months before the day on which he wishes to attend;
and his leave is terminated three months from the date of this
notice, or sooner if the House so directs;
(c) a member of the House on leave of absence
may not act as a supporter~ in the ceremony of introduction;
(d) a member of the House on leave of absence
may not vote in the election of the Lord Speaker or in by-elections
for hereditary peers.
In applying the provisions on leave of absence the
Clerk of the Parliaments may seek the advice of the Leave of Absence
Sub-Committee of the Procedure Committee. The Sub-Committee is
chaired by the Chairman of Committees; the other members are the
Chief Whips of the three main parties and the Convenor of the
The voluntary retirement scheme
Any member of the House of Lords may, at any time,
write to the Clerk of the Parliaments indicating his or her wish
permanently to retire from the service of the House.
By retiring from the service of the House a member
indicates his or her wish permanently to cease taking any part
in the work of the House; and the House, in return, recognises
the member's completed service to the House.
Having received an application to retire, the Clerk
of the Parliaments consults the Lord Speaker and the member's
party or group, who in turn consult the member and seek confirmation
that it is his or her intention to retire permanently from the
service of the House. Not less than two weeks is allowed for this
informal consultation to be completed.
The Lord Speaker notifies the House on the day the
retirement takes effect. Retirement is also marked informally
outside the Chamber.
Members who have retired from the service of the
House should not attend sittings of the House or of any committee
of the House. They may not vote in any election of the Lord Speaker
or by-elections for hereditary peers. Retired members may sit
on the steps of the Throne, and are afforded the same access to
other facilities as members on Leave of Absence, with the exception
that they are not entitled to receive parliamentary papers. Retired
members are not subject to the Code of Conduct.
Retired members remain peers, and retirement does
not affect the use of their title. Retired Members also continue
to be treated for the purposes of general law as Members of the
5 SO 22. Back
SO 22(6). Back
SO 22(7). Back
Leave of Absence 1st Rpt 1957-58. Back