Councils risk problems with recruitment and retention if they fail to support staff who are carers.
Tim Anfilogoff, policy manager for users and carers at Hertfordshire Council, told the conference that councils must offer more flexible working arrangements to prevent the loss of staff.
He said nearly one-fifth of staff at Hertfordshire were carers, and pointed out that a legal requirement on councils to support carers into employment was not being implemented consistently.
He said more needed to be done to tackle “severe” disincentives in the benefits system for carers who wanted to work.
Delegates raised concerns over a lack of money for retraining carers who wanted to re-enter the workforce and cuts in Learning and Skills Council funding.