I know it doesn't, but Marlena still has had more. Or at least she did the last two years. We'll see about this year.
IDK if it's the same thing or not, but I'm pretty sure it's independent of their contracts. They just have to work. Remember that episode of Friends where Joey didn't work enough one year and lost his insurance? It didn't happen immediately, and he was able to fix it by getting that commercial. I mean....that may not be a realistic portrayal of how that works, but I've heard about that in relation to one of the recurring actors on the show before.
Can I just say that I love you referencing Joey when explaining all this.
Everything should relate to Friends.
Friends is basically my encyclopedia.
Especially since Joey called "smell the fart" acting which many soap actors which is so awesome in it's simplicity.
But my favorite description of how to act on a soap is Nathan Fillion talking about daytime acting: