Research shows that vocational rehabilitation results in a significant decrease in the costs associated with occupational illness or injury. Finnish legislation includes rehabilitation as an integral part of statutory compensation, with no earning compensation awarded until rehabilitation possibilities have first been assessed. The Insurance Rehabilitation Association of Finland (VKK) is an intermediary body that assesses an individual’s prospects for rehabilitation and, where return to work is deemed feasible, creates a vocational rehabilitation plan. Post-rehabilitation options include returning to the same job with adaptations, retraining to take up a new role or funding to pursue viable entrepreneurial options. Rehabilitees are monitored for six months after completion of the plan. In 2013, 71 % of people returned to work after their rehabilitation plan. Success factors include VKK’s individualised and multidisciplinary approach. Challenges include late intervention (development of a plan can take up to two years) and a lack of incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises to participate. The transfer of this initiative to another Member State would require a system of effective referral, coordination and funding within the national context to achieve similar efficiencies.