The UK Supreme Court ruled Friday that Uber drivers should be classed as workers" and not self employed, in a decision that threatens its business model and holds broader implications for the so-called gig economy.

The Supreme Court's seven judges unanimously rejected Uber's appeal against a lower court ruling, handing defeat to the ride-hailing giant in the culmination of a long-running legal battle.

The judges agreed with an earlier tribunal decision that found two Uber drivers were workers" under British law, therefore entitling them to benefits such as paid holidays and the minimum wage.

Uber had argued that the two were independent contractors. The company has 65,000 active drivers in the UK.