Used mainly in the further and higher education sectors to describe a period of time for which an employer ‘releases’ an employee from their work duties in order to follow a course of study or skills training. The length of time allowed for this may be anything from a few days to several months. During this time, the employee usually continues to be paid their salary or wages; and, in addition, the employer will often pay the necessary college or university fees. The concept of block release originates, and is still associated, with vocational or skills training. In academic or professional contexts, such a release from duties would normally be referred to as a ‘secondment’. See also day release.