The Procedure Committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry into whether changes should be made to the hours during which the House sits in order to improve the effectiveness of the Commons.
The Committee will also examine the sitting patterns of the House over the parliamentary year: whether the balance of sitting times and recesses is appropriate, and whether the pattern of recesses meets the needs of Members and of the Commons as a whole.
Greg Knight, Chair of the Committee, said:
The start of a new Parliament gives us an ideal opportunity to re-examine how the House of Commons works and to ensure that we make best use of our time to hold the Government to account and to represent the interests of our constituents.
We will be writing to all Members for their views and encouraging others from outside parliament to have their say in this important new inquiry.
We plan to present our conclusions as a series of options from which Members will be able to choose what change, if any, they would like to support.
The House of Commons currently sits from 2.30pm on Monday and Tuesday, 11.30am on Wednesday and 10.30am on Thursday. It also sits from 9.30am on 13 pre-designated Fridays a year for Private Members bills.
The recess dates for the calendar year 2011 have been announced and are available on the parliamentary website.