Care workers should be paid the same as people doing the equivalent job in the NHS, a charity has said.
Age UK said the care workforce was under-supported, under-rewarded and under-protected during the first wave of the pandemic.
Its research shows that the average salary of a care workers is around £15,000, which means they are paid 24p less than the average shop assistant.
Age UK called on the Government to implement national set pay scales that providers must meet, an improved learning and development offer to care workers, and support the physical and mental wellbeing of care staff through a national initiative.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: 'The lack of Government funding for care often translates into exploitative working conditions for care staff, which in turn undermine the quality of care on offer to older and disabled people. Social care is above all a people business and if you don’t value the men and women who provide it you are undervaluing those who receive it too.”
'For the sake of everyone who needs social care as well as all those who deliver it we are calling on the Government to treat care workers fairly and provide the funding for them to get a decent wage. Their pay and conditions need levelling up to match those of similar roles in the NHS.'