Some 7 out of 10 people with serious health problems were supported back to work by Unum after using the insurer's vocational rehabilitation service provided via a Group Income Protection plan.
Mental health (41%), musculoskeletal problems (19%) and cancer (9%) were the most common health conditions faced by those successfully returning to work.
Conditions related to the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis, and to the heart and circulation made up the remaining big five health problems (both accounting for 6% of people returning to work).
The data comes from Unum's first Return to Work statement, which provides an overview of the 1,470 people with serious health problems who used its rehabilitation service last year.
After using the service, 7 in 10 (68%) were able to return to work, in almost all cases to the same employer they had when they fell ill.
Over a third (35%) of those returning to work were under 40 years old and 15% were under 30. Just over a third (34%) were over 50.
Women are more likely than men to use rehabilitation services. While only 40% of those with Group Income Protection from Unum are female, women make up half of those returning to work.
Joy Reymond Head of Vocational Rehabilitation at Unum said, "Getting back to work is a key milestone in people's recovery. It makes them feel stronger, healthier and that they are getting back in control.
"Our first Return to Work statement shows the tremendous support we give people with some of the most challenging health conditions to reach that goal. Our success come from the breadth of support we provide - from vocational rehabilitation for people who have fallen out of work to training for line managers on how to lead healthy, engaged teams. Together they make a huge difference."
John Letizia, head of public affairs at Unum said, "This statement proves that Income Protection is about much more than just protecting people's finances. Mental health and musculoskeletal problems are the biggest causes of disability and sickness absence in the UK.
"By supporting people when they fall ill, we can make a huge difference to their chances of getting back to work. That is great for people and their families but also for the financial health of the UK economy".
Thursday 12 March
YouGov survey shows
For women more so than men
Main reason MSK