FIREFIGHTERS have been forced to take emergency loans after their pay date was changed with little notice.

Around 900 full-time firefighters from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service saw their paydate moved back 10 days this month after changes to the payroll by One Connect, which took over the service from Lancashire County Council earlier this year.

The change meant many workers would see direct debits coming out of their accounts before they had been paid.

As an emergency solution the fire service set up interest free loans for workers.

Steve Harman, of the Fire Brigades Union in Lancashire, said: “It has caused a problem for most of the firefighters. No one is happy about it.

“I’m sure for some families this will cause some serious problems.

“My direct debits come out of my account shortly after pay day so I can budget for the month, so these will now come out before I get paid.

“The fire service said they had no option but to offer firefighters a loan to get them through this month. This is something I took and it will be deducted from my pay over the next 12 months.

“It just seems that people don’t seem to matter to these companies, as long as they can save a few quid.”

He said historically full-time fire fighters were paid on 16th of the month, support staff on 26th, and retained firefighters on 28th of the month.

However, One Connect have streamlined the payroll and changed all paydates to 26th.

A Fire Service spokesman said: “One Connect have been providing payroll services for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service from April 1 2012.

“The move called for some administrative changes to be made but these have been implemented smoothly and without any adverse impact on our organisation or its personnel.

“However, we will be moving some of the services we currently receive from One Connect in order to better meet our requirements.”

One Connect Limited declined to comment.