Standing Order of the House of Lords relating
to public business (1958) No 21
Leave of Absence
21.(1) Lords are to attend the sittings of the
House, or, if they cannot do so, obtain leave of absence, which
the House may grant at pleasure; but this Standing Order shall
not be understood as requiring a Lord who is unable to attend
regularly to aply for leave of absence if he proposes to attend
as often as he reasonably can.
(2) A Lord may apply for leave of absence
at any time during a Parliament either for a session or the remainder
of the session in which the application is made or for the remainder
of the Parliament.
(3) On the issue of Writs for the calling
of a new Parliament the Lord Chancellor shall in writing request
every Lord to whom he issues a Writ to answer whether he wishes
to apply for leave of absence or no. The terms of the letter which
he has written shall be reported to the House.
The Lord Chancellor shall, before the beginning
of any session of a Parliament other than the first, in writing
(a) every Lord who has been granted leave
of absence ending with the preceding session; and
(b) every Lord who though not granted leave
of absence, did not during the preceding session attend any sitting
of the House (other than for the purpose of taking the Oath of
to answer whether he wishes to apply for leave of
absence or no.
A Lord who fails to answer within twenty-eight
days of being requested to do so may be granted leave of absence
for the remainder of the Parliament.
(4) A Lord who has been granted leave of
absence is expected not to attend the sittings of the House until
the period for which the leave was granted has expired or the
leave has sooner ended unless it be to take the Oath of Allegiance.
(5) If a Lord, having been granted leave
of absence, wishes to attend during the period for which the leave
was granted, he is expected to give notice to the House accordingly
at least one month before the day on which he wishes to attend;
and at the end of the period specified in his notice, or sooner
if the House so direct, the leave shall end.