Ferritic steel weldments are invariably post-weld heat treated for relieving the residual stresses. However, the long duration of post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) required for very thick weldments can adversely affect the mechanical properties and fracture toughness. Thus, there is a need to establish the relative importance of temperature and time of PWHT with respect to stress relief. Accordingly, in the present work, the phenomenon of stress relief (due to PWHT) in an 800-mm-thick steel weldment was investigated using finite element analysis and the results were validated against experimental measurements. An analytical study was also carried out to determine the relative influence of temperature and time of PWHT on stress relief. It was found that time of PWHT plays a more significant role in case of relatively lower PWHT temperatures. It was also found that, for a given value of Hollomon parameter, different combinations of PWHT temperature and time can be employed to achieve the same level of stress relief. A mathematical relationship has been established between Hollomon parameter and magnitude of residual stress after PWHT. It has been shown that residual stress is a monotonically decreasing function of the Hollomon parameter. © 2016, ASM International.