Delivery workers for British food app Deliveroo are self-employed, a U.K. court ruled Thursday, dismissing an appeal by a union seeking to represent those workers.
The ruling by Britain’s Court of Appeal affirms previous court decisions that go against the claim by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which sought permission for collective bargaining rights on behalf of Deliveroo riders in 2017.
The three-member panel was unanimous in their decision, arguing that the riders “are, genuinely, not under an obligation to provide their services personally and have a virtually unlimited right of substitution.”
This decision goes against an earlier ruling by the U.K. Supreme Court, which found Uber drivers were entitled a minimum wage, paid time off and other benefits. In response, Uber reclassified all of its 70,000 drivers as workers.
Amazon-backed Deliveroo has a network of 100,000 drivers, delivering food from around 115,000 restaurants and grocery stores.
A Deliveroo spokesperson told Reuters the ruling was a landmark for the company, which went public earlier this year.
“UK courts have now tested and upheld the self-employed status of Deliveroo riders four times. Deliveroo’s model offers the genuine flexibility that is only compatible with self-employment, providing riders with the work they tell us they value,” the spokesperson said.
It’s a victory for a company whose debut on the public market fell a bit flat, in part over concerns due to fears of changes to the U.K.’s regulations governing gig workers.
Deliveroo’s share price plunged 30 percent on its first day of trading before recovering slightly, but not enough to keep the stock price down 26 percent as the first day of trading concluded. This performance was in sharp contrast to DoorDash’s debut in December of 2020, which saw the American delivery service’s price jump by 80 percent on its first day.