US poultry processor Perdue Farms Inc. has settled a dispute over paying workers for the time it takes them to put on and remove safety clothing and equipment.

Known as 'donning and doffing' time, the issue had caused controversy over the years as Perdue refused to pay workers for the time they needed to kit themselves out with vital safety gear. Perdue has agreed to change its policy and pay current and former employees for this time - some eight minutes per day.

The settlement leaves Perdue the first employer in the industry to resolve the issue of payment for time spent donning and doffing protective clothing.