I agree December has always been quiet. The risk we take by being a locum is that contractors will manage without us at quiet times, a d use their salaried staff. The upside is we are self employed and can put travel etc against tax that employees cannot and chose when and where we work.
However if you are a locum and are the sole optometrist in a practice on the day that they cancel you, then the practice could be in breach of their GOC contract with their area team of NHS England as their contract requires them to provide cover for the days and hours they have contracted. Some contractors don’t realise it is a legal contract to provide a service, and they are in breach if they do not provide professional cover when they should.
But, you know, it’s the cheapest month for sun holidays and cruises, so can you rearrange your calendar to take advantage of that benefit?