The furlough scheme starts winding down today as employers are forced to shoulder 10 per cent of workers’ wages.
Businesses called for it to continue as thousands of companies with 1.5million employees will be affected.
One study suggests older people face a higher risk of unemployment as the scheme – which has cost around £66million – is phased out.
The Resolution Foundation said more than one in four workers aged 55-64 furloughed in the recent lockdown remained so in May despite easing measures.
Meanwhile Labour called for the Government to delay the plans, saying it is set to impact nearly half a million firms.
The party said 450,000 businesses will have to pay around £225million more as a result of the plans.
But earlier last month hospitality chiefs called for it to come to an end because more than one in five workers in the industry were still on furlough in May.
Their growing calls came because there was still nearly 50,000 job vacancies in the trade.
Read more: The sound of chickens heading for home … Beginning of the end of furlough: Bosses have to pay 10% of workers’ wages as government’s £66billion scheme to save jobs during pandemic starts to wind down