Abstract High thermal gradient formed during the fusion welding process results in development of undesirable residual stress in the weldments. This stress is developed due to restraint by the parent metal during weld solidification. The high heat input results in non-uniform heat distribution across the weld region in other words non-uniform microstructural development across the weld region and hence the mechanical properties of the joint are often not uniform. In order to avoid inhomogeneity in the mechanical properties and also to reduce/eliminate undesirable residual stress, the welded samples are given post welding heat treatment. In this research, 500 µm thin SS-316L sheets are welded using micro plasma arc welding process and then the welded specimens are heat treated. The welding experiments are conducted by varying welding speed, welding current and stand-off distance. Weld bead microstructure, micro-hardness, ultimate tensile strength (UTS), yield strength and percentage elongation are determined before and after heat treatment. The effects of welding heat input and process parameters on the measured weld qualities are studied. Analysis of variance is also performed to estimate the influence of factors and their interaction on the weld quality. The post weld heat treatment results in an increase in the grain size of the HAZ and is found in the range of 38.96 µm to 56.22 µm whereas for as-welded samples it is in the range of 29.88 µm to 50.40 µm. The average UTS value of the heat treated samples is increased by 9.9% compared to the as-welded samples. The hardness of the fusion zone varies in the range of 175-215 HV.