Name given to enterprises and establishments which directly serve political, associational, religious, scientific, educational or charitable aims. (Although in Article 8(3) of the official English text of Council Directive 94/45/EC on European Works Councils these are described as “undertakings … which pursue directly and essentially the aim of ideological guidance with respect to information and the expression of opinions …”, no real equivalent of the term exists in English.)

The particular nature of the objectives involved means that in such cases employers are entitled in general to demand a specific form of loyalty from their employees. In particular, they may require employees to observe with respect to third parties a mode of conduct which does not seriously impair the credibility of the institution which they represent. The Austrian legislators have enacted special provisions (Article 132 of the Labour Constitution Act) exempting employers in these cases from some of the rules imposed as part of the works constitution (see also ecclesiastical labour law).

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.