Delivery firm Deliveroo has claimed a victory for its riders who want the flexibility of being self-employed rather than classed as "workers".
In the latest case involving the employment rights of workers in the gig economy, Deliveroo said the self-employment status of its drivers had been confirmed.
The company said a ruling by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) was an "important step forward" in the ability of drivers to work flexibly.
The CAC, which considers union recognition and collective bargaining cases, rejected an application by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to represent drivers in parts of north London, according to Deliveroo.
IWGB general secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: "Despite the CAC's finding that a majority of the riders in the bargaining unit would likely support union recognition for the IWGB, it seems that after a series of defeats, finally a so-called gig economy company has found a way to game the system.
"On the basis of a new contract introduced by Deliveroo's army of lawyers just weeks before the tribunal hearing, the CAC decided that because a rider can have a mate do a delivery for them, Deliveroo's low-paid workers are not entitled to basic protections."
Taxi firm Uber last week lost an appeal against an employment tribunal ruling on the status of employees, after two drivers argued they were "workers" and entitled to the minimum wage, sick pay and paid leave.
Uber lost its challenge at the Employment Appeal Tribunal, but announced it will appeal, saying almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before its app existed.