The pandemic has seen millions of workers made redundant as a result, with companies forced to participate in national insurance and pension contributions, as well as employee contributions.
The government initially paid 80 percent of wages, in return for stopping workers on leave, but changes to the scheme are coming.
Mr. Sunak announced that the program would be “liquidated” from October with businesses weaned, as businesses risk becoming “addicted”.
Germany, however, is set to extend the coronavirus program in the European country to 24 months.
And now, a think tank wants the same for the UK, having warned that three million jobs risk being left “unsustainable” in October.
Extending the system could limit two-thirds, they add.
In its new report, Rescue and recovery: Covid-19, Jobs and Income Security, the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IPPR) says three million jobs “will still be on life support” this fall.
But the IPPR said expanding the program and offering more business support could help keep two of those three workers in key roles.
Clare McNeil, Associate Director for Work and Welfare at IPPR, said: “In many cases, years of experience and dedication can be lost with these jobs, and we know that people with disabilities, those who protect and those with family responsibilities – especially women – are most at risk. ”
Ben Willmott, Public Policy Officer at CIPD, said: “The job retention bonus will not be enough to protect jobs, so we think more support is needed.
“It makes sense to develop a more targeted support system to enable companies to retain workers through reduced hours, such as through some form of partial unemployment scheme.
“This would promote workforce flexibility, especially for key sectors that may face significant layoffs if the leave program ends and there is nothing to replace it.