Following criticism of its employment rules, Apple has apparently set out to clarify what is allowed in the workplace, and to perhaps avoid future controversies.

NBC News reports that an internal memo has leaked - something which will annoy Tim Cook - stating that, among other things, employees are free to discuss workplace issues in the way that feels most comfortable to them. This may include their immediate supervisor, or the company's central HR team.

This shouldn't really be news, as this is stipulated in US law. But there have been question marks recently over Apple's willingness to listen to aggrieved staff members, some of whom said they did not feel heard at an all-hands meeting in September.

The memo also confirms that Apple employees are permitted to discuss their salaries and terms of employment with one another. This is a key element when attempting to tackle sex and race pay disparities; in August the company was accused of breaking the law for blocking internal pay surveys.

"Our policies do not restrict employees from speaking freely about their wages, hours, or working conditions," the memo says.

The memo comes after Apple earlier this autumn fired a manager who tweeted about workplace misconduct. This sparked discussions about working conditions at the company.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.