Deliveroo riders have been ruled self-employed by labour law body the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).
The test case was brought against the delivery company by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) .
The IWGB said riders were “workers” and should have rights such as the minimum wage or paid holidays.
But the CAC ruled they were self-employed because of their freedom to “substitute” – allowing other riders to take their place on a job.
The case follows a number of claims brought by workers in the “gig” economy demanding rights such as holiday pay, the minimum wage and pensions contributions.
But Deliveroo said its turquoise-and-grey clad “Roomen” and “Roowomen” wanted the flexibility of being self-employed.
A decision by the CAC can be challenged in the High Court on a point of law.
Dan Warne, Managing Director for Deliveroo in the UK and Ireland said: “This is a victory for all riders who have continuously told us that flexibility is what they value most about working with Deliveroo.
“As we have consistently argued, our riders value the flexibility that self-employment provides. Riders enjoy being their own boss – having the freedom to choose when and where they work, and riding with other delivery companies at the same time.”
The company said it was pushing to have employment law to be changed so it could offer its self-employed riders injury pay and sick pay.
However, drivers at Uber won a victory a week ago when the company lost an appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal against an earlier decision to grant them workers’ rights.