More than half of the employees on leave are already on the job again before the program ends on Saturday.
The Resolution Foundation said reports that nine million workers continued on vacation were “far from the mark”.
Businesses have to contribute to the cost of vacationing workers by paying their employer’s social security and pension contributions as of today.
The think tank said its analysis suggests that the maximum number of vacationing workers was close to eight million at the end of April, but since then millions have returned, either in whole or in part, as part-time workers.
This means that the report estimates that fewer than 4.5 million people are employed.
The foundation said the data shows the success of the Job Retention Scheme in protecting companies and employees during the introduction and relaxation of the lock.
However, given the fact that there are still millions of employees, there is a risk of substantial layoffs as the system expires between August and October, the report added.
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Dan Tomlinson, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The Job Retention Scheme has helped around a third of private sector workers since the blockade began to protect family income and prevent catastrophic unemployment.
“As the number of workers on leave peaked at the end of April, it is misleading to say that there are currently nine million workers on leave. More than half of these workers have now returned to work because of restrictions on restrictions. The actual number is now under 4.5 million.
“While vacation is currently far less common than is generally believed, there are still millions of unemployed workers, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors, who are at increased risk of unemployment as the JRS expires today.
“The Chancellor should reduce this risk by slowing support for these most affected sectors.”
Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Every fifth small business has been forced to release employees in the past three months. Even if critical immediate measures are taken, jobs are lost in the here and now.
“When we look at autumn, it is clear that we cannot afford to pull the drawbridge for business support soon.”