The Government is being urged to give the care sector emergency funding of £3.9 billion to help it cope with the second wave of the pandemic.
Unison joined forces with employers to call for a major funding package and a fair wage deal for low-paid staff.
A new alliance of more than 80 organisations and individuals was formed to warn that Covid-19 has magnified problems that have existed in the care sector for years.
The union said workers were existing on poverty wages and zero-hours contracts, while job vacancies were causing huge problems for employers.
The Chancellor was pressed to find the resources to bring about change in social care.
Unison’s assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Care has long been the forgotten service. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the sector’s faults like nothing else.
“Its problems cannot be ignored for a moment longer. This unprecedented alliance brings together employers, politicians and the biggest care union to make a powerful case for change. Now the Government needs to listen and start to take the care crisis more seriously.
“Care needs urgent and lasting reform. Paying dedicated staff who look after our elderly and vulnerable relatives a proper wage would start to transform care into a service fit for the future.”
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Care workers have been the invisible heroes throughout the pandemic. They’ve been on the front line giving their all while looking after older and disabled people.
“Many have put their own health and financial worries to one side, and some have tragically even paid the ultimate price.”
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