Re: Cuts for Christmas
Contractors should expect to be out of contract with short notice for longish periods because the nature of the system dictates it.
I have both walked off contracts with only notice at the very start (say 5 days, usually reduced to zero by mutual agreement) and later when things have changed unacceptably (such as a new Manager forcing Friday work when Mon-Thu was the original agreement).
Contractors should able to (easily) survive long periods without work because of the risk and the ability it gives to not take crap - I because a contractor only because of this latter need.
I suppose it is just possible to be in a situation of earning contractor income but still having so many legitimate drains on their income that are valid such that no 'buffer' exists. However, I suspect that that is rare to say the least and that 'broke' contractors (in my experience) nearly always drive expensive cars, take expensive holidays and have large mortgages.
It is hard to have sympathy for people who earn so much money - I have only even worked about 50% of the time since I was fifty and still don't want for money (yes, I paid for my own house, had two kids, got fleeced in a divorce and have a girlfriend without serious means of her own). I am not even a well paid contractor according to some of the numbers I see here, my rates always seems to be at the lower end of the numbers and nothing like the £600/day I see for working for banks or even more for working in the 'City' - I wouldn't know how to deal with that much money - I would have just stopped working even earlier I suppose.