Southern Cross, the troubled care home provider, has announced proposals to cut 3,000 jobs out of its workforce of 44,000 staff.
The company said home managers, deputy managers, relief managers, activity co-ordinators and administrators would not be directly affected.
Southern Cross said it expected the cuts to be completed by October, after a period of consultation with unions.
Unions called for the government to step in with financial support.
Southern Cross has already deferred 30% of its rent to landlords of its 750 homes as it tries to avoid bankruptcy.
The Darlington-based company's current rent payments total about £180m a year.
Last month, it reported half-year losses of £311m and warned that it was in a "critical financial condition