A cancer patient is suing her former employersA teacher suffering from bowel cancer is suing her former place of work, after claiming that she was sacked via email, in news that could interest HR departments keen to avoid a similar employment tribunal.

Melinda Bodnar, 27, said that she had been given only a 30 per cent chance of survival after first being diagnosed with the disease last year.

Following surgery to remove a tumour she had to undergo seven months of chemotherapy and it was during this period she alleges she was fired from her position by email, despite claiming to have only missed a few weeks of work.

Annabel Dixon, owner of private Oaktree Nursery School in Balham, south-west London, said in the message: “You will see that you haven’t been paid for this month – you have been on full pay up until now but I am afraid I can’t manage that any longer as I am sure you will understand.”

She added that she hoped Ms Bodnar was not feeling “too awful” from the chemotherapy.

The teacher notes that the email was “devastating”.

Meanwhile, Karl Touhey, a paramedic, is facing a misconduct hearing after it is alleged he used offensive language while working at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust.