THOUSANDS of self-employed workers are understood to have gone weeks without being paid after a company’s systems were hacked.

Payroll firm Parasol, which is based on Centre Park near Warrington town centre, was subjected to the ‘malicious attack’ on January 10.

The incident caused its systems to go down, and remained offline for some time.

More than three weeks later, it is believed that many people have still not been paid – or received erroneously low sums – for work carried out as long ago as last year.

Consumer review website Trustpilot has been bombarded with negative reviews for Parasol from affected clients in recent weeks.

One described the company as the ‘worst they had ever dealt with’, while another reported having received a payment of 2p instead of £613.14.

Meanwhile, a contractor from the town described how he ‘had no food and bills coming up’ having not received his pay – with others ‘thousands of pounds short’.

A spokesman for Parasol said: “We recently suffered a cyber security incident that impacted some of our key systems and caused significant disruption to our services.

“We are working with a team of IT experts to ensure we get back to normal operations as quickly as possible and we have informed the relevant authorities.

“We know that this disruption is causing understandable concern among Parasol employees, and we are very sorry for any inconvenience that has been caused.

“We have put in place contingency plans to ensure people continue to be paid and our support teams are providing information and advice over the phone and via our live chat function, as well as providing regular email updates.”

Accountancy firm Brookson Group, which is also based on Centre Park, was hit by a cyber attack on the same day.

It later referred itself to the National Cyber Security Centre as a result.